CiConsulta Geopolitical Insight – Libya

epaselect epa08141937 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (3d-L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) during the International Libya Conference in Berlin, Germany, 19 January 2020. By means of the 'Berlin Process', German government seeks to support the peace efforts of the United Nations (UN) to bring about an end to the conflict in Libya. Following the renewed outbreak of hostilities in April 2019, UN presented a plan to stop further military escalation and resume an intra-Libyan process of reconciliation. EPA-EFE/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

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Background: The European Union plans to use a revamped version of Operation Sophia in order to crack down on arms imports into Libya by conducting a maritime surveillance mission just outside of Libya’s waters. The EU Foreign Minister Borell believes that such a mission will help to prevent weapons from reaching the warring parties in Libya, and reduce temperatures within the country.

Global risk level – Low. The impact from this naval surveillance mission is likely to be minimal, given that a number of arms suppliers can transit the weapons through other routes, such as through Egypt. A concerted effort would need to be made to enforce a weapons embargo on all of Libya’s borders, not to mention that weapons could also be flown in by air and parachuted to factions in the country.

The Malta perspective: The surveillance mission will increase security to Malta’s south in an indirect fashion, but will not impact the situation on the ground in Libya considerably.

Malta risk level: Medium. The situation in Libya remains tense, and this will continue to present a problem for European Mediterranean countries on a number of levels. Instability in Libya will have adverse impacts on migratory flows, terrorism, oil prices and a number of other factors.

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