MAST warns vessels not to enter Libyan ports

19 May 2015 (Last Updated May 19th, 2015 18:30)

Maritime Asset Security & Training (MAST) has warned vessels to avoid Port of Sirte and Port of Derna in Libya since there is a risk of bombing attacks on vessels.

Maritime Asset Security & Training (MAST) has warned vessels to avoid Port of Sirte and Port of Derna in Libya since there is a risk of bombing attacks on vessels.

Both Sirte and Derna are currently under the control of ISIL militants.

Recently, the European Union approved plans to conduct a military operation to tackle the human trafficking networks that smuggle migrants through the Mediterranean Sea from countries including Libya.

MAST COO Gerry Northwood OBE said: "For the EU to be successful, the first priority is to continue delivering humanitarian aid to the people in the boats, while developing the operation into an intelligence-led blockade of the Libyan coast.

"The EU has plans to capture smugglers and destroy their boats off the Libyan coast to prevent the increasing number of irregular crossing attempts."

"However, without meaningful engagement with governments and militias ashore in Libya to restrict the freedom of smuggling networks to embark migrants on the Libyan shores, the mission will be constrained to treating the symptoms, not the cause."

The EU has plans to capture smugglers and destroy their boats off the Libyan coast to prevent the increasing number of irregular crossing attempts. In order to implement this, the UN will have to give its approval to operate close inshore to a country.

Considering the unrest in Yemen, Mast also advised the vessel operators to perform thorough risk assessment prior to entering Yemeni Ports.

In Yemen, ceasefire ended after five days with Southern Yemen still remaining as the battleground with fighting taking place in Taiz and Aden.