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UN Security Council Extends Mandate to Search Ships off Libya for Migrants

UN Security Council Extends Mandate to Search Ships off Libya for Migrants

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 11:00
African migrants wait to board the MV Aquarius, as 193 people and two corpses are recovered Friday, January 13, 2017, from international waters in the Mediterranean Sea about 22 miles (35 Km) north of Sabrata, Libya. (AP Photo/Sima Diab)

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to extend for a year the authorization for UN member nations to search vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya if there are reasonable suspicions they are being used to smuggle migrants or for human trafficking.


The British-drafted resolution approved Thursday condemns such acts, saying they undermine efforts to stabilize the North African country "and endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands of people," the Associated Press reported.


The European Union's Operation Sophia had been the only regional naval operation carrying out inspections.


However, Italy´s previous populist government suspended deployment of ships, saying in March it would instead send more planes to monitor the area.


Last week, the EU extended Operation Sophia´s mandate until March 31, still using only planes.


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