EU consider deployment of military observers to Libya if a ceasefire holds

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The European Union is considering the possible high-risk deployment of EU military observers to Libya in the event a ceasefire holds in the war-torn North African country, Politico reports. Libya has been the scene of a years-long civil war between Tripoli’s UN-backed Government of National Accord headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, and rebel General Khalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA).

At the request of EU foreign policy Chief Joseph Borrell, the European External Action Service (EEAS) drew up a 10-page draft document setting out a number of options on how to support a ceasefire in Libya. Politico reports that the options range from “offering advice to a Libyan-led effort through to deploying a fully-fledged EU Military and Observation Mission, complete with land and air elements.”

The EEAS document emphasizes that the purpose of increased EU involvement in Libya would be to “reinforce EU credibility as a security actor in the Southern neighborhood.”

Some of the EEAS options come with serious risks for the EU and for individual personnel sent to Libya. The draft document notes: “The threat level for EU military presence in Libya is assessed as very high. This is especially true for an EU Force positioning itself between the parties to the conflict. Due to the support provided by third states and proxies, the amount of military equipment available to both parties is significant.”

In regard to the situation on the ground Libya, and the presence of other countries there, the EEAS authors note: “the landscape in Libya has changed markedly, with the balance of power shifting in favor of the GNA and its ally Turkey” and Russia also becoming more involved.

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