Libya, EU considering armed intervention to rescue citizens

The European Union is considdering drawing up plans for an armed humanitarian intervention in Libya to rescue the 6,000 EU citizens still in the country in case the situation in the country deteriorates.

This possibility surfaced earlier today when a senior EU official told journalists in Brussels this morning on condition of anonymity.

It is not clear which specific goals (if any) or mandate such expedition would have.

The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department is said to have been in consultation with member states to check what civilian and military assets might be available should any armed humanitarian operation be needed. Everything is still in a planning phase though, no actual decision has been taken yet, according to the EU source.

Evacuation of EU citizens in Libya is a member state responsibility, with the EU in a supporting role through its Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), which was activated yesterday. The European External Action Service said that the number of EU citizens still in Libya was unknown, while the Commission put the number at 5,000-6,000, with about 5,000 more already out of the Northern African country.

Evacuations have been carried out mainly by plane, from Tripoli airport – the\other airport, Benghazi, being unaccessible. A few hundreds more EU citizens have been rescued by a Chinese ship.


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