The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice (on the left) and Felix Braz, Minister of Justice of Luxembourg holding a Press conference after the Justice and Home Affairs EU Council meeting on 8-9 October in Luxembourg. The former represents the will of the Brussels Commission and the latter holds the rotating Presidency of this Council, authentically representing the 28 EU governments. (European Council – Council of the European Union, 09/10/2015).

Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice (on the left) and Felix Braz, Minister of Justice of Luxembourg holding a Press conference after the Justice and Home Affairs EU Council meeting on 8-9 October in Luxembourg. The former represents the will of the Brussels Commission and the latter holds the rotating Presidency of this Council, authentically representing the 28 EU governments. (European Council – Council of the European Union, 09/10/2015).

Last Friday 9 October the UN Security Council and its five permanent members unanimously decided to actually trade entire nations and geographical regions between them. To this effect they authorized the European Union to employ warships in the Libyan waters to “board ships for inspection, seize and even dispose of vessels suspected of being used by migrant smugglers”. This is just the surface of it though because Russia and China wouldn’t have agreed without getting concessions from the West of equal importance elsewhere in the world.

For the time being, the US, Britain, Russia France and China (members with veto power) along with 9 non permanent Council members (without veto power, kind of observers) empowered the EU to use military force in international waters to stop the immigration river from flowing towards Europe (Venezuela abstained; the UN Security council comprises 15 members of which only five have the veto power).

EU’s plans go unhindered

However, the relevant EU’s action plan as it has been agreed by its 28 leaders contains three phases including operations in the Libyan waters, the coastal areas and the ports. For the time being, the UN authorized action in the high seas off Libya constituting the second phase of EU’s policy. In the third phase the EU plans military action on Libyan sea and soil.

It becomes clear then, that the EU naval and otherwise military action will not just try to stem the transport of immigrants from Libya to Italy. According to the so-called third phase of this EU project the Union’s military forces will carry out extended operations in Libya’s territorial waters and the coastal areas and ports with or without UN coverage. Let’s take one thing at a time.

Long term action

At the end of the last week of April this year the 28 EU leaders gathered in Brussels and decided to launch naval and otherwise large-scale military operations in the high seas off Libya, in the Libyan waters and eventually on the soil and the sea ports of their Mediterranean neighbor. They decided to use military force knowing very well that this would entail fatalities amongst the locals and the prospective refugees who gather there. At that time the EU leaders said they would ‘seek the UN blessing for all or parts of the plan’, but in reality they meant that they will go ahead anyway.

Last Friday Russia and China didn’t block the Security’s Council approval for the second phase of this scheme; God knows against what concessions. Obviously Moscow has vital interests in Syria to trade with the Westerners and Beijing wants to secure its position in the South China Sea against the Americans. On many occasions in history the great powers traded between them the fate of smaller countries and entire geographical regions. However, every time that such an appalling exchange occurs, it constitutes a stigma and an affront to humanity. This always comes as shock to the wider public opinion, that’s why the details usually come to light some decades later.

Chaos reigns

In the case of Libya, chaos reigns everywhere. There is complete lawlessness with more than 1200 armed groups fighting each other. The West recognizes a government based in a Greek merchant ship anchored outside the port of Benghazi. In view of the impossibility to change that, the EU supported by the US must have in mind to secure a safe coastal zone in order to facilitate its military and ultimately its economic goals in the country and in this wider African region. In the face of it the EU action will aim at reversing the waves of desperate people, who abandon their destroyed homelands hoping to find refuge in Europe.

The Europeans insist that in order to do that they will ‘fight’ the traffickers and sink their boats at sea and in harbor, as if it was possible to tell which vessel can be used to this effect. The first phase of the operations included intelligence gathering around the means and the ways of the human traffickers and has been going on for a few months now.

With or without the UN

The second phase which is now getting the UN blessing has officially commenced on 7 October without the UN’s Security Council having taken a decision until that date. According to an EU Council decision, the “EU Ambassadors within the Political and Security Committee agreed to start the first step of the second phase of the operation as of 7 October 2015 and approved the corresponding rules of engagement”. In short they said they will continue their military engagement without any blessing from the UN, which followed 2 days later.

The operational name of this plan is ‘EUNAVFOR Med’. Evidently the Europeans understood that this name leaves an extremely military taste, which is rather unfit for the eight o’clock news and thus renamed it “Sophia”. They chose a name with a peaceful aura which they had already given to a baby born on one of the war ships operating off Libya.

The public relations experts must have thought that if a baby is born and named Sophia in one of those war ships, their cannons would cease to be made of steel and the public opinion can believe that they are there for humanitarian reasons.

Whatever the outcome of this operation, the West seems determined to promote its positions in the wider Maghreb region (Northwest Africa) and the Middle East including Syria. It is also evident that Russia and China can accept or even cooperate if their share is right.

The problem is that the willingness and the fire power of the five UN permanent members is not enough to turn things to an arrangement of their liking. Once the devil is out of the bottle nobody can guarantee that it will not behave as devils do and thus stop triggering bombs as the last one in the Turkish capital Ankara. The more than 100 fatalities and the hundreds of injured innocent protesters cannot be incorporated in any logical plan.

Only the devil and some infernal cycles work in this way.






the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“An open China brings opportunities to Europe”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to EU

Hungary has made progress on greening its economy and now needs to raise its ambitions

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

Judicial independence under threat in Nigeria, warns UN rights expert

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

Is it impossible to place the banks under control?

Ideology is the enemy of growth

Rich economies not a promise of education equality, new report finds

Here’s how India can soar in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

World simply ‘not on track’ to slow climate change this year: UN weather agency

Britain declares trade war on mainland Europe

Extra mild ECB tapering of QE and zero interest rates keep euro low

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

ECB’s €1.14 trillion again unifies Eurozone; Germany approves sovereign debt risks to be pooled

Speeches of Vice Premier LIU He and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen at the Press Conference of the Seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

The US-Mexico trade deal a threat for others, Trump to single out China, Europe

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

Drugs cost too much. There is a better way to fund medical innovation

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

EU should promote immigration as a humanitarian issue in order to provide a more permanent solution

‘Leaders who sanction hate speech’ encourage citizens to do likewise, UN communications chief tells Holocaust remembrance event

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

More than 750 million people around the world would migrate if they could

How the digital finance revolution can drive sustainable development

Why poorer people suffer more from climate change

How AI can inspire doctors to be more inventive

The banks want now free capital from taxpayers

Draghi’s top new year resolution: Quantitative Easing

Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘horrible terrorist act’ in Nairobi

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

Europe is now practically divided as in the Cold War

At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

UN-led Yemen ceasefire monitoring team gets ready to begin operations

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

AI could be a silver bullet for healthcare in ASEAN

3 autonomous vehicle trends to follow in 2019

Towards a zero tobacco public space in Cameroon

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

Stable growth momentum in the OECD area

Human rights breaches in Azerbaijan and Sudan

FROM THE FIELD: Rohingya babies conceived out of ‘incomprehensible brutality’

The unpleasant truth of plastic straws

5 ways to make your organization a great sustainability partner

The EU slams Theresa May’s Brexit option; sets base for own European defense, security platform

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s