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Inspection of a container ship en route to Benghazi. And last review of Operation Irini

(B2) The commander of the European operation to monitor the embargo off the coast of Libya will appear before the Political and Security Committee this morning to give his latest assessment. Just as it has just completed its 13th suspicious vessel inspection

An inspection of a suspicious vessel

The flagship of the European embargo monitoring force in the Mediterranean Sea (EUNAVFOR Med), the St. George, approached and inspected on Wednesday (May 19), off the coast of Libya, the Cileen M, a container ship flying the Togolese flag, heading for Benghazi (eastern Libya).

The container ship Cileen M (credit: EUNAVFOR Med Irini)

« Nothing suspicious was found ". And the " vessel was allowed to continue its voyage says the operation's headquarters in Rome. This inspection went smoothly. " The crew and captain were cooperative. » The ship came from the Greek port of Kalymnos, according to maritime sources.

This is the 13th inspection carried out by a European vessel under the control of the arms or oil embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

4 suspicious thefts detected each week

At the last assessment, for nearly 14 months of activity, the Irini operation investigated " more than 3200 vessels and monitored 235 suspicious flights ". This means nearly 50 ships questioned each week, but above all 4 flights “ Suspects » spotted each week. It is not negligible ! A report that Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini, commander of Operation Irini, is presenting this Thursday (May 20) to the ambassadors of the Member States meeting in Brussels within the COPS (Political and Security Committee).

122 friendly approaches

The European operation carried out 13 inspections and 122 friendly visits (or 'Friendly Approaches') on board merchant vessels in the Mediterranean coming from or going to Libya. It monitored 16 Libyan ports and oil facilities, 25 airports and airstrips.

23 reports sent to the UN

All the information collected during these visits, inspections, interviews, as well as by the satellite observations of SatCen have been carefully recorded. The IRINI operation thus wrote " 23 classified reports addressed to the United Nations Group of Experts on Libya on " violations or potential violations of the arms embargo ". This of " two sides of the conflict in Libya “, we take great care to specify on the side of the European military.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).