EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia: mandate extended until 31 December 2018

Background 

EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015, as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to help better manage irregular migration and disrupt traffickers and smugglers’ networks.

The operation entered its active phase in October 2015 enabling the identification, capture and disposal of vessels used or suspected of being used by migrant smugglers or traffickers. Since then, the operation has contributed to the arrest and transfer to the Italian authorities of 110 suspected smugglers and traffickers, and has neutralised 470 vessels. In addition, the operation has helped rescue close to 40 000 lives.

The Council added the two supporting tasks to the operation’s mandate on 20 June 2016. Since then, the operation has trained 136 Libyan Coastguard and Navy personnel. It has also hailed over  650 ships, carried out 51 friendly approaches, 7 flag enquiries and 3 inspections within the framework of its contribution to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.

EUNAVFOR MED’s Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy. The headquarters of the mission are located in Rome.

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