17:55 GMT +323 May 2019
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    Officers of the Irish Navy ship Le Eithne rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

    EU to Launch Naval Operation Against Human Traffickers in Autumn

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    The European Union will launch the naval operation against human traffickers this autumn, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Sunday.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) — According to the politician, all the agreements on the issue have been reached, and it will be possible to take action in September and October.

    "This autumn the European countries are launching a joint naval operation in the international waters which is directed against smugglers who organize the transfer of people from the third world to Europe," Sobotka told the Prime television channel.

    The European Union is currently grappling with a major refugee crisis, with thousands of migrants attempting to reach EU member states through various routes, mainly by crossing the Mediterranean.

    In late June, the European Union launched the EUNAVFOR (European Union Naval Force) Med mission directed against human traffickers who smuggle migrants from North Africa to Europe.

    During the first stage of the mission, vessels and aircraft were deployed in international waters where they have been gathering information on human traffickers.

    The subsequent stage involves searches and potential seizures of suspicious ships.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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