EU foreign ministers have agreed to launch new sea patrols in the Mediterranean to try to enforce an arms embargo in war-torn Libya.
The announcement comes on the ninth anniversary of Libya’s revolution, but it’s too soon to say whether the EU’s first deployment to prevent the conflict will stop the fighting or the smuggling of arms.
The majority of Libya is currently under the control of General Khalifa Haftar and his so-called Libya National Army.
But the capital Tripoli is still held by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s UN-recognised government
Since last April the city has been under siege after Haftar launched a military campaign to capture it.
In This Story: EU
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,233,255.3 km² and an estimated total population of about 447 million.
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In This Story: Libya
Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.
The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya’s seven million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.
Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I. Parts of Libya are currently split between rival Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments, as well as various tribal and Islamist militias.
Libya is a member of the United Nations (since 1955), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC. The country’s official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims.
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In This Story: Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant.