LNA Commander Welcomes EU’s ‘IRINI’ Operation to Monitor Arms Embargo in Libya

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On Tuesday, the director of the Department of Moral Guidance in the Libyan National Army (LNA), Colonel Khaled Al Mahjoub, welcomed the European Union’s decision to launch a new naval mission off the Libyan coast. The EU’s Operation ‘IRINI’ aims to enforce the UN arms embargo on Libya, prevent illegal migration and human trafficking.

The naval mission will be able to carry out inspections of vessels on the high seas, off the Libyan coast, that are suspected of carrying arms or related materials. IRINI will also monitor and gather information on illicit exports of petroleum, crude oil and refined petroleum products.

According to the EU, the mission will also contribute to the capacity building and training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy. Operation IRINI will also contribute to the disruption of human smuggling and trafficking networks through information gathering and patrolling by planes.

In an interview with Russian Sputnik News Agency, Al Mahjoub hailed the EU-led IRINI military operation, adding that the enforcement of the arms embargo will positively affect the national security of not only Libya but a number of neighboring states.

He confirmed that the LNA is willing to announce a humanitarian truce due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, so long as the other parties abide by it. However, Al Mahjoub also said that “the Government of National Accord-backed militias don’t respect any calls to stop fighting.”

Al Mahjoub noted that the LNA is fully aware of the magnitude of the threat the virus poses to Libya, adding that authoirities in the eastern Libya had prepared special medical facilities in coordination with the LNA’s operation rooms.