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EUFOR Libya & OCHA: I love you, me neither!

(BRUSSELS2) No “the EUFOR Libya operation is not planned at a snail’s pace” a European diplomat familiar with the matter just told me. But, yes, with OCHA we have entered into a real “Gaz factory", he admits. A statement which seems approved by several diplomats from different Member States (but not by others). This all deserves a little explanation…

Is the schedule blocked? From a formal point of view, planning takes its course, “at a rather fast pace and even accelerated“. The team of Rear-Admiral Gaudiosi (commander of EUFOR Libya) is, in fact, “not on one operation plan but on several projects“, according to the options which will be definitively approved and the request of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). And several countries have already indicated their availability to participate in the operation (France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland, Czech Republic, Malta… according to my information). “But that's not where the problem is. The problem is the OCHA agreement”. The OpPlan and the generation of forces can, in fact, only be officially approved after the green light from OCHA which, apparently, is still not decided to give it (read: EUFOR Libya: Lady Amos (OCHA)'s response to Lady Ashton (EU)

Why is the EU linked to an OCHA endorsement? This provision arose in March, on an initiative of several countries (Germany, Ireland, Sweden) and the High Representative as a possibility of compromise allowing the EUFOR Libya decision to be approved. “We didn’t really realize the gas plant we were getting into.” admits our interlocutor.

How do we judge OCHA's attitude internally? “I have the impression that all this dialogue is dominated by ideology which has no relation to what is happening on the ground and in reality. This is fundamentalism. OCHA was not present on the ground. until recently. " Today there are at least “20.000 foreigners stuck in Misrata“, between the port and in the city." Other organizations such as the UNHCR (refugees) or the IOM (migration) of the United Nations galaxy “have a much less dogmatic approach”…

NB: we can specify that Valérie Amos almost joined the European Union. Candidate for the post of special envoy to the African Union, she was rejected due to lack of speaking the language of Voltaire. Suffice to say that she kept a small grudge against the EU.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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