21. November 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Libyen: EU unterstützt Regierungstruppen bei der Wiedereroberung der Grenzregionen · Kategorien: Libyen · Tags: , , ,

Anxiety over chaos in Libya

By Andrew Gardner

Political and security situation deteriorating

The European Union is struggling to establish a secure footing for a mission to strengthen Libya’s central authorities as the government flounders in its efforts to control militias. […]

The insecurity in the country – in October, the prime minister was also briefly kidnapped by militia in the government’s pay – prompted foreign ministers of the EU’s 28 member states to voice concern on Monday (18 November) at the “significant deterioration of both the political and security situation in Libya”.

The statement reveals only part of the EU’s anxiety. Officials say that areas in the east and south-west have become havens for Islamist fighters, including some who were active in Mali until the French intervened last year. One official described as “astonishing” the Libyan authorities‘ lack of knowledge of what is going on in the south.

Foreign ministers said that the EU was willing to increase its support for Libya’s efforts to secure and destroy weapons. In June, the EU approved funding of €5m for projects to secure arms in Libya.

[…] But the focus of the EU’s efforts in Libya is on helping the government gain some control of the country’s land, sea and air borders. In reality, only small sections of the land border are under central control and the EU’s mission has struggled to become operational since it was established in May.

The two-year mission, the budget for which is €30 million in the first year, is intended to have 110 staff, but currently has around 40. It has also yet to move into its designated headquarters and remains based in a hotel in Tripoli. The unarmed mission’s ability to operate outside the country’s capital is constrained by uncertainties about security, as a contract that would have provided guards for wider travel has been delayed. A new tender was issued in late October.

According to EU officials, a succession of Libyan governments have said that they want the EU’s help, but the country still lacks a security strategy within which the EU could operate more effectively.

That casts a shadow over a strategy for the Sahel – the Sahara and the bands of land on either side of the desert – currently being drafted by the EU’s institutions.


The EU’s focus on security collaboration is an extension of earlier controversial co-operation with Qaddafi to curb migration.

The idea of a fully-fledged EU mission to help Libya control its borders dates from 2007, when the country was under Qaddafi’s control. Libya will be on the agenda on 5-6 December, when EU justice ministers discuss rules on surveillance of EU’s sea borders. EU leaders have called for the border agency, Frontex, to be reinforced.“

via Anxiety over chaos in Libya | European Voice

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