EU Extends Border Assistance Mission in Libya Until Late 2018

The EU Foreign Affairs Council agreed to extend the Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM) until 31 December 2018, according to official statement.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council prolonged the Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM) until the end of 2018, and introduced a ban on the exports of inflatable boats and outboard motors to the country in order to disrupt the activities of human traffickers, the Council of the European Union said in a statement Monday.

"The Council also agreed to extend the CSDP mission EUBAM Libya until 31 December 2018. EUBAM Libya currently assists and engages with the Libyan authorities on border management, law enforcement and criminal justice with a particular emphasis on the South of Libya. The mission will also work on planning for a possible civilian capacity-building and crisis assistance mission," the statement said.

The council also stressed the importance of the UNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, the EU's naval operation aimed at disrupting the activities of smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean Sea.

"In an effort to further disrupt the business model of people smugglers and human traffickers, the Council introduced restrictions on the export and supply to Libya of inflatable boats (dinghies) and outboard motors. 

EU member states will now have a legal basis to prevent the export or supply of these goods to Libya where there are reasonable grounds to believe that they will be used by people smugglers and human traffickers," the statement read.

According to the statement, the restrictions would also be applied to dinghies and motors, which are transiting through the EU member states to Libya.

Libya has been suffering from turmoil resulting in the humanitarian and refugee crisis since 2011. EUBAM Libya, a civilian Mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), to support the Libyan authorities in improving security of the country’s borders, was launched in 2013. 

The mission was set to expire in August.