EU Operation IRINI stops ship from sending military vehicles to Libya

EU Operation IRINI stops ship from sending military vehicles to Libya

The European Union’s Naval Operation IRINI has stopped a ship from transporting vehicles, intended to for military use, to Libya in breach of the UN arms embargo, announced Operation IRINI on Wednesday.

Operation IRINI said it carried out an inspection of MV VICTORY RORO; a ship flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea, which has long been suspected by the European mission of transferring military equipment to Libya.

“Prior to the inspection, the cargo ship had been located by a French Navy plane, assigned to Operation IRINI, after crossing out the Suez Canal and entering the Mediterranean Sea,” Operation IRINI said in a statement.

“The Hellenic Navy frigate HS THEMISTOKLES monitored the ship during her route before the frigate of the Italian Navy ITS GRECALE took over to conduct the inspection. Both warships are deployed under operational control of Operation IRINI.”

“During the inspection, the team identified dozens of vehicles designed or modified for military use and thus assessed to be in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya,” added the European mission. “In accordance with UNSCR 2292 (2016) and its mandate, Operation IRINI seized the vehicles violating the UN arms embargo on Libya and is now diverting the ship to an European port for further proceedings.”

Operation IRINI pointed out that the same vessel, under the name MV LUCCELLO and flying the flag of the Comoros, was identified by the UN Panel of Experts on Libya as having delivered military vehicles to the country in early March 2022.

Operation IRINI said this is 24th time that this vessel by mission since its launch in March 2020.