Wednesday, October 7, 2015

EU Launches Second Stage of Anti-Smuggling Operation in Mediterranean

The second phase of an EU operation to counter human trafficking, EUNAVFOR Med, began on Wednesday.

 EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced the launch of the EU anti-smuggling operation's second phase in September.

The first stage of the EU operation to stop smugglers bringing refugees from North Africa to Europe began in late June. On July 27, the operation reached full operational capability.

The first phase focused on collecting information on human traffickers, using vessels and aircraft deployed in international waters. The second phase of the naval operation authorizes boarding, search, seizure and diversion of ships found to be used for human trafficking.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that over 560,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since the beginning of 2015. Almost 3,000 people are reported to have died or gone missing en route.

Later in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are expected to deliver a joint announcement at a full European Parliament session in Strasbourg, touching upon the EU refugee crisis.

 (Sputnik)
7/10/15
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1 comment :

  1. EU to begin seizing smugglers' boats...

    The EU is beginning a new operation in the southern Mediterranean to intercept boats smuggling migrants.

    Under Operation Sophia, naval vessels will be able to board, search, seize and divert vessels suspected of being used for people smuggling.

    Until now, the EU has focused on surveillance and rescue operations.

    So far this year, more than 130,000 migrants and refugees have crossed to Europe from the north African coast. More than 2,700 have drowned.....BBC

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