Published March 29, 2019
The European Union has officially extended the mandate of a naval mission hunting migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean — even though it cannot deploy any ships amid a dispute with Italy's anti-migrant government.
EU headquarters said Friday that Operation Sophia, which tackles smugglers, trains the Libyan coastguard and enforces a U.N. arms embargo on Libya, will be extended until Sept. 30.
But European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said Wednesday that without naval assets, the operation can't accomplish its tasks.
Italy commands Sophia but the anti-migrant government refuses to allow its ships to disembark any migrants in Italian ports.