House of Lords Critical of Libya Policy

The HoL EU External Affairs Sub Committee has taken evidence on illegal migration stemming from Libya.  More than 1 million are in the pipe-line, with EU Operation Sophia criticised for “incentivising failure”.  The EU held the lead for Libyan border security in the porous Sahel after Gadhafi was overthrown, but failed to establish any control. This is one of the ten strategic security risks discussed in Chapter 6 of Belfast to Benghazi.

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Tobruk Air Commander Killed

It is reported that the commander of Tobruk’s Abdul Nasser Air Base was killed when his jet crashed into a house, whilst returning from a bombing raid today.  He was a brave man and our sympathies go to his family.  When I visited  Tobruk in February 2012, the Mig-21s were poorly maintained and there were insufficient specialist tools and parts, such as ejector seat cartridges.   See page 268 of Belfast to Benghazi:


UK Ambassador Meets Haftar

The British ambassador, Peter Millett, flew to Benghazi after the Libyan National Army recaptured the oil facilities at Ras Lanuf to meet its commander-in-chief, Khalifa Hafterat.  According to a high-ranking LNA source, Millett regretted that much had been said about the UK’s negative role in Libya.  It’s time to reopen the British Embassy in Tripoli to improve perceptions.

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Italy makes progress with Human Trafficking

The Italian government is negotiating a deal with Niger – the main transit country for migrants travelling from the Horn of Africa through Libya to Europe.  Controlling the flow from the main portal of Agadez will make a significant difference and reinforce the EU naval operation in the Mediterranean.  Border Security in the ungoverned and porous Sahel was one of the ten strategic risks discussed in Belfast to Benghazi.  See pages 277 -287 for the others: