News / Africa

EU Prepares Military Sea Corridor to Deliver Aid to Libya

Sharon Behn

European Union leaders are preparing a militarily-protected sea corridor to deliver aid to Libya should the situation in the North African country deteriorate to the point where humanitarian aid workers cannot help civilians caught in the crossfire.

The European Union is getting ready to launch a military mission to support humanitarian aid work in Libya even as rebels are warning of what they are calling a "massacre" in the western city of Misrata. A rebel spokesman said at least 23 people were killed in attacks by forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi near the port town Thursday.

The EU-proposed operation would create a safe corridor in the sea up to Misrata as well as on the ground to be able to reach out to those in need.  EU officials say the operation would require a formal UN request and fall under the mandate of UN resolutions 1970 and 1973.

But Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response says the EU believes if they cannot reach people, if they cannot evacuate the wounded or help those civilians caught in the cross-fire, then there is no option but to provide military support.

"If we have boats that are trying to get with medicines, or to evacuate wounded, not able to reach the port, this is a signal that that protection is necessary, or if on the ground there is such a forceful attack from Gadhafi  forces that the actual presence of humanitarian workers -- people with no guns, no way  to protect themselves -- becomes problematic, then there may be a need for protection on the ground in the civilian area," she said.

Right now none of these conditions is in place, so the European Union is still in the preparation stages. But Georgieva says the EU has the capacity to deploy right away.

She says the military operation would compliment NATO's airstrikes, which are aimed at stopping Mr. Gadhafi and his forces from killing civilians. But Georgieva insists the conditions have to be right before the EU brings in its military forces.

"We have to be categorically sure this bridge has been crossed," she said.

If deployed, the EU force for Libya would be headed by an Italian, Rear Admiral Claudio Gaudiosi, operating out of Rome.

The EU currently has three ongoing military missions, the most recent being in Somalia, where EU forces are training Somali security forces.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid