Politics, Africa

Libya's Sarraj rejects EU's Operation IRINI

Operation neglects to control airspace, borders through which arms and ammunition reach renegade commander

Walid Abdullah   | 24.04.2020
Libya's Sarraj rejects EU's Operation IRINI


The head of Libya's UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has rejected a new EU military operation in the Mediterranean, Al Ahrar TV reported early Friday.

Fayez al-Sarraj sent a message to the UN Security Council saying his country opposes Operation IRINI to monitor the UN arms embargo on Libya.

Al-Sarraj said the operation neglected to control the airspace and borders through which arms and ammunition are reaching the illegitimate forces of renegade commander Khalifa Haftar in eastern Libya.

He stressed that it is certain based on reports they have that weapons and equipment are being provided to support Haftar through Libya's eastern land and air borders.

On March 31, EU foreign ministers approved the launch of Operation IRINI.

The mission aims to operate in the air, sea and with satellites to ensure that all countries respect the ban on providing arms to the parties involved in the Libyan conflict.

The EU forces will also watch for illegal oil exports, prevent human trafficking and contribute to the training of the local coast guard and navy as a complementary task.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar's forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Since the ouster of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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