UN renews authorization to fight trafficking off Libya

October 3, 2018

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council has voted unanimously to renew the authorization for the European Union naval force and other nations to fight human trafficking in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya.

The resolution adopted Wednesday authorizes regional organizations and countries to inspect and seize vessels on the high seas being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking from Libya until Oct. 3, 2019.

French diplomat Antoine Michon said the force has played an important role “in breaking the networks of human traffickers,” noting that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this has saved tens of thousands of lives every year.

“Trafficking in human beings, fed by economic instabilities, exacerbated the already fragile situation in Libya,” he said.

Michon stressed the council’s decision last June to impose sanctions against six traffickers.

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