Operation IRINI said that the decision of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to extend the operation’s authorisation for inspections is a significant step forward. It underscores the international community’s commitment to maintaining the legal framework aimed at preventing illicit arms trafficking into and out of Libya.
The UNSC’s decision to extend operation IRINI’s authorisation to inspect ships on the high seas off the coast of Libya for another year has been welcomed by IRINI.
In renewing the resolution, the UNSC implicitly recognises the importance of the work carried out by operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI. It is the only international actor that implements such resolution in an effective, impartial and balanced manner.
In a statement, IRINI explained that since its launch on the 31st of March 2020, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI has investigated 3,344 merchant vessels through request of information via radio calls, carried out 133 visits on ships with Masters’ consent (the so-called friendly approaches) and conducted 14 boardings/inspections on suspected vessels.
“Unfortunately, in 37 cases, such friendly approach were denied by the vessels’ Masters for various reasons, including COVID-related issues, possible delays and national authorities policy, while in 6 cases IRINI could not proceed to board and inspect suspect vessels due to the flag state denial,” the statement added.
All inspections or friendly approaches are always carried out in accordance with the UNSC resolutions framework and in respect of the international law.
Moreover, all COVID-19 preventative measures are always implemented and respected during these activities that in no way can prejudge the nature of activities of the vessels that has been visited or inspected.
According to the statement, operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI has also monitored 468 suspicious flights, 25 airports (and landing strips) and 16 ports (and oil terminals).