IRINI ready to monitor Libya ceasefire?
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 February 2021:
The commander of the European Operation IRINI, Admiral Fabio Agostini, confirmed IRINI’s readiness to play a role in monitoring the current ceasefire agreement in Libya.
Operation IRINI was launched by the EU in 2020 to monitor the UN Arms Embargo on Libya. It has come in for much criticism even by the Tripoli government, for failing to prevent the arms and military force build up in Libya.
Agostini said IRINI is ‘‘ready for that if the Libyan authorities or the United Nations request and after the approval of the member states of the European Union,” Agostini said in statements carried by the Italian agency AKI yesterday.
He added that, “The stability of Libya should be a real goal for all,” explaining that this “will contribute to strengthening security in the region, improving the living conditions of the people bordering the Mediterranean and their economy, and also helping to regulate and reduce migration flows towards the southern coasts of the Union EU.”
Agostini indicated that “this process may end on the day when the European Union’s military contribution will not be necessary and feasible to support the outcomes of the Berlin conference,” regarding a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis.
However, while the AKI report did not give any more details about IRINI’s ceasefire monitoring offer, it is unclear if the use of IRINI as monitors for Libya’s 23 October ceasefire would fit in with the vision of the UN or Khalifa Hafter and his Libyan National Army (LNA).
Both the UN and Hafter’s spokesperson, Ahmed Mesmari, clearly talked of non-military, civilian or retired military personnel taking part in the ceasefire monitoring.