“The EU is building up a team of heavily-guarded men to help Libya stop unwanted migrants and to collect intelligence,” reveals news website EUobserver days after at least 34 migrants drowned after reportedly setting sail to Europe from Libya.

The EU foreign service underlined that the €30m-a-year-operation, which began in April and is named Eubam Libya, does not involve EU officials conducting patrols or searches. It is expected to have a total of 111 staff when fully operational next year.

However, the large team of private security personnel who will protect EU staff in the unstable country will also transform Eubam’s Tripoli HQ into “an EU intelligence asset”, adds the website. It should provide "high quality security situation analysis" and file "security reports daily, weekly, monthly and six monthly" to EU structures, reports EUobserver, quoting the call for tender document.

Meanwhile, in a separate story, EUobserver also announces that EU border security agency Frontex is considering using aerial drones, which can be operated remotely or with a pilot, to monitor frontiers. The website continues –

The agency already operates five joint operations in the Mediterranean Sea in a broad effort, it says, to intercept migrants trying to reach Europe and from losing their lives in incidents such as the recent Lampedusa disaster.