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European Union External Action

Operation SOPHIA: package 2 of the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy training launched today

On 30 January 2017 the second package of the training conducted by EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia for the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy starts in a maritime training centre in Crete (Greece). Twenty Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy trainees will receive training in areas including maritime legal aspects, Human Rights and raising gender awareness, as well as Search and Rescue operations. Package 2 is the next step from the application of basic seamanship delivered in Package 1.

The second package will be delivered throughout 2017 in a variety of locations in the Mediterranean area. The trainees are senior officers at the rank of Captain or Commodore.

 The training was first agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding last 23 August 2016, by EUNAVFOR MED operation Commander, Rear Admiral (UH) Enrico Credendino, and the Commander of the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Port Security, Commodore Abdalh Toumia. 

On 26 October 2016, the first 78 Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy trainees embarked on board the EU training vessels, following the Council Decision to train the Libyan personnel in coast guard functions. The overall objective of the training is to enhance their capability to disrupt smuggling and trafficking in Libya and to perform search and rescue activities, aimed at saving lives and improving security in the Libyan territorial waters.

 The EU Naval Operation is the military contribution to the EU's comprehensive approach that aims at disrupting the business model of human smugglers and traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. Thus far, following EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia’s activities, 101 suspected smugglers and traffickers have been apprehended and transferred to the Italian authorities and 380 boats were removed from the criminal organizations' availability. The Operation has saved 32.081 migrants, among whom 1888 children. Under the EU's contribution to the UN arms embargo, the operation carried out 360 events in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016).