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EU sets up military mission backing Libya humanitarian aid

01 April 2011, 23:12 CET
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(BRUSSELS) - Europe set up Friday a military mission to back Libya humanitarian aid efforts, appointing an Italian to run it, approving a limited budget and giving the UN a four-month window to call it in.

The European Union "will, if requested by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), conduct a military operation... in order to support humanitarian assistance in the region," officials said in a statement.

EUFOR Libya will focus on aiding the "safe movement and evacuation of displaced persons," supporting external humanitarian agencies within the limits of two United Nations resolutions on Libya.

Rear Admiral Claudio Gaudiosi will lead the mission out of Rome, and have a budget of 7.9 million euros ($11.2 million), ambassadors decided.

Unless EU states extend its mandate, the mission will "terminate no later than four months after reaching initial operating capability," the statement added.

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