Inside the Deadly Pirate Corridor Where Migrants Escape to Europe
Jason Pack is quoted discussing the EUNAVFOR Med mission operating in the international waters off Libya in a fascinating and insightful Bloomberg piece analysing people smuggling routes and networks in East Africa, and looking at the overlap between the smugglers and pirates who have traditionally operated off the East African coast.
Since 2015, the naval group has promised that a new and tougher phase of its counter-smuggling operation would start as soon one rival government or another in Libya asks for military help (or as soon as the UN declares Libya a failed state, subject to intervention). Then warships, in theory, can move close to shore and safely turn back boats. “They’re waiting for the invitation—‘Oh, you can come into Libyan waters to blockade Sirte,’” said Jason Pack, from Libya-Analysis.com, referring to one of Libya’s port cities. But the Libyan leadership is fractured by civil war, and “they don’t want to seem reliant on foreigners” to solve their problems, according to Pack. Last June, Eunavfor extended the rescue phase of its mission for an additional year, effectively stalling plans to intervene. “It’s very doable,” Pack said of the intervention idea, “but it’s not a complete solution.”
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