on maritime security & defence

New Operation Commander for EUNAVFOR MED IRINI

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The Council appointed Rear Admiral Valentino Rinaldi as EU Operation Commander for the European Union military operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI). He will take command from Rear Admiral Stefano Turchetto on 19 July.

Rear Admiral Rinaldi has a long-standing experience in the Italian Navy, where he assumed command of various units of the Italian fleet. He was recently Force Commander of “Operazione Mare Sicuro”, and Commander of Amphibious Task Force throughout 2022 NATO Response Force and during “Cold Response-22” exercise.

He was Force Commander of Operation IRINI from 1 April to 30 September 2023.

EUNAVFOR MED IRINI: Background and next steps

EUNAVFOR MED IRINI was launched on 31 March 2020, shortly after the Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, as a concrete EU contribution to the process set up by the international community to support the return to peace and stability in Libya. Its current mandate runs until 31 March 2025.

Operation IRINI’s core task is to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets. In particular, the mission performs inspections of vessels on the high seas off the Libyan coast suspected to be carrying arms or related material to and from Libya, in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya. It does this in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016) and subsequent UNSC resolutions.

In addition, Operation IRINI monitors and gather information on illicit exports from Libya of petroleum, crude oil and refined petroleum products, and contribute to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks by patrolling and gathering information.

This decision was adopted by the Political and Security Committee.

EUNAVFOR Med Irini / Rinaldi
With Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, the European Union is helping to implement the arms embargo against Libya
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Caption: With Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, the European Union is helping to implement the arms embargo against Libya