UN authorizes EU to stop migrant-smuggling vessels off Libya

The U.N. Security Council has adopted a resolution authorizing the European Union and individual countries to seize migrant-smuggling vessels on the high seas off Libya for another year.

The resolution, adopted by a vote of 14-0 on Thursday with Venezuela abstaining, stressed that the council's aim is "to disrupt the organized criminal enterprises engaged in migrant smuggling and human trafficking and prevent loss of life."

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said that since the U.N. authorized the interdictions in October 2015, the EU's Operation Sophia naval ships have directly apprehended 90 suspected smugglers and have rendered over 300 smuggling vessels inoperable.

"The migration crisis remains one of our greatest shared challenges," Rycroft said. "Thousands have perished crossing the Mediterranean and thousands more continue to risk their lives ..."