EU launches Mediterranean migrant military mission: official

Eu head quarterEU foreign ministers formally approved Monday the launch of the first phase of a military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, officials said.

The first ships and aircraft to conduct intelligence gathering missions should be available within a week, officials said.

EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said the 28-nation bloc had responded quickly to the crisis washing up on its southern shores.

“I am impressed by the unanimity and speed with which we have put this together,” Mogherini said as she arrived to chair the foreign ministers meeting.

There have been serious differences among member states over how to handle the thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, with Italy, Greece and Malta bearing the brunt of the burden until the loss of up to 800 people in April when their rickety boat sank and forced a re-think.

EU leaders agreed at an emergency summit that month to formulate a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem at source, including a military option to go after the people traffickers working out of Libya.

The first phase of intelligence gathering is meant to be followed by active intervention to board and disable smuggler vessels and arrest the traffickers.

A third phase would extend these actions into Libyan territorial waters and possibly inside the country itself.

The April summit agreed that advancing to the next two phases would however require a UN Security Council Resolution and agreement from Libya before the EU would go ahead.

  • Ojiyovwi

    Here we go again with the Europeans blaming it all on oyhers but themselves. No one with the modest intellect will fail to recognise the the real perpetrators of and beneficiaries of mass migration – the Europeans of course. The endlessly undermine the economiers of the idiot states by constantly stoking tribalism and these idiots in those countries fail to see these tricks and proceed to strife and choas. The Europeans then r

  • Ojiyovwi

    This is all meaningless for as long as Europeans will not end their conflicting appetite for defence business and the half-hearted desire for peace in their lands and markets. The conflicts that displaces people are entirely created by Europeans and thier American sons and daughters to sustain their self-righteousness whilst stoking the causes of conflict as they only stand to gain through lucrative defence and reconstruction contract. Look at the mess in Libya – created entirely by Europeans who wronbly believe that only their methods of policalitical systems are acceptable and any other is contantly denigrated as substandard and should not be tolerated. Thes preachers of hateful fine languages then scuttle arround selling the weapons that are sued to sustain the strife that ensues before hurrying home to close the boarders firmly shut against those fleeing the resulting violence they have heartlessly created or helped to create – very paracitic.