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09 September, 2015

EU plans for military operations in Libya against refugee boats

A classified document leaked by Wiki leaks on May 18, reveals that EU Defense ministers have agreed to launch military operations against Mediterranean refugee transport networks and infrastructure including the destruction of docked boats and operations within Libya΄s territory.

The EU plan was first mentioned by The Guardian as an overall EU strategy to crack down smugglers networks in Libya.

However a second classified document revealed that EU ministers plan to integrate military operations, initially scheduled for the second and third phase of the plan, in the first phase of their intervention.

The documents - that refer to refugees as "migrants"- acknowledge the complexity of the situation and clearly state that there is not enough understanding of the "smugglers business model and operation". The documents also warn against the possibility of a possible shift of immigration flows towards the western Mediterranean following the military intervention.

The EU plan acknowledges that the operation might result to casualties among the refugees and discusses how to manage negative publicity. It is recommended that the plan should be presented by the media as a component of the overall EU strategy to crack down smugglers. In case the EU forces need to rescue people at the sea it is clarified that rescue operations should not be publicised "in order to avoid providing an incentive to migrants".

Source and full documents:

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