21 Oct 2020

Operation IRINI inspects a vessel in application of the UN arms embargo on Libya

Yesterday at 4.30 pm Operation EUNAVFOR MED Irini boarded and inspected the Merchant Vessel (MV) MEDKON SINOP in application of the United Nation Security Council’s Resolution 2292 of 2016 concerning the arms embargo on Libya, whose validity was extended until 5 June next year.

The MV MEDKON SINOP is a Panama flagged General Cargo and departed from Ambarli in Turkey on 18 October and was heading to Misurata in Libya. The boarding team of the French Frigate Latouche-Tréville, acting in the framework of Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, boarded the vessel in international waters, 135 nautical miles North of Benghazi, Libya.

The boarding team examined the available documentation on board and inspected the cargo (in containers) on a random basis. Nothing suspicious was found and the boarding team returned to its unit allowing the vessel to proceed on its way.

The procedure went smoothly and the boarding took place in a collaborative atmosphere of both the master and the crew. All recommended COVID-19 precautions were observed during the boarding.

Operation Irini is a part of the EU’s commitment to support the Berlin process, restore stability in Libya and bring peace to its population.

 Facts and figures

From May 4, when the Operation started its activity at sea, Irini assets have patrolled the central Mediterranean and performed 990 hailings and made 33 friendly approaches (visits on board of merchant vessels). The Operation has monitored suspect vessels at sea in more then 16 ports and landing points.

By monitoring 25 airports and landing strips, it detected 120 suspect flights possibly carrying military related cargos back and forth to Libya. Operation Irini is contributing to the UN arms embargo and the prevention of oil smuggling with 16 special reports to the United Nations Panel of Experts concerning both sides of the conflict in Libya, in an impartial manner. These results were possible thanks to SatCen (European Union Satellite Centre), which provided more than 298 sets of satellite images at Irini’s requests.

This is the second boarding since the start of the Operation IRINI.


Operation Irini (named after the Greek word for “peace”) was planned in a very short timeframe and launched on 31 March, following a decision by the Council of the European Union. The main task is the implementation of the arms embargo in Libya under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Operation also has the secondary tasks of monitoring illegal oil trafficking from Libya, disrupting human trafficking and smuggling activities and contributing to the training of Libyan Coast Guard and Navy. The Operation Commander is the Italian Admiral Fabio Agostini.