EU starts training of Libyan Navy and Coast Guard

EUNAVFOR operation Sophia has started training activities with the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard this week, and will continue doing so over the next three months.

The training is taking place on board of two EUNAVFOR MED vessels on the high seas for 78 embarked trainees and their mentors.

The initial training package comprises various models, ranging from basic seamanship to more advanced specialist skills and includes a substantial focus on human rights and international law.

The European naval operation to disrupt the business model of human smugglers and traffickers and save lives in the Mediterranean Sea was broadened in its scope in June this year to include the training of Libyan naval assets.

On August 30, the Political and Security Committee (PSC) formally authorized the start of the training of the Libyan personnel, and on September 6 the start of the contribution to the UN arms embargo.

Libyan authorities requested this support and established a dedicated committee of experts to work with EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia. The objective is to enhance their capability to disrupt smuggling and trafficking in Libya and to perform search and rescue activities which will save lives and improve security in the Libyan territorial waters.