70 expatriates arrive at Melilla’s Spanish Exclave
On Friday night and the following afternoon, a total of 70 migrants crossed the high border fence between Morocco and Spain’s Exclave Melilla. Of the 8,000 migrants who arrived in Ceuta since Monday, 6,000 have now been deported.
NoAfter racing on Ceuta’s Spanish Exclave, 70 expatriates managed to cross the high-border fence between Morocco and Spain’s Exclave Melilla on Friday. The province of the Spanish city on the North African Mediterranean coast said that on Friday night, 30 Moroccans and 40 others from the Maghreb came to the fence at Melilla in the afternoon.
A record 8,000 migrants had arrived in Ceuta by rubber dingies or swimming since Monday; At least one person drowned. About 6,000 migrants, including many minors, have now been deported back to Morocco.
Moroccan security forces let migrants pass in Ceuta on Monday and only strengthened border guards on Tuesday. Its background is the dispute between Morocco and Spain over the conflict in the Western Sahara.
Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles on Thursday accused the North African country of “blackmailing” it. On Friday, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Maralasca spoke of the “difference of opinion” between the two countries only knowing, respecting and appreciating each other. Everything must be done to ensure that these are short-lived.
The diplomatic crisis was triggered by the government’s decision in Madrid, in which the leader of the Polisario Frente, who was suffering from Covid-19, was allowed to receive medical treatment in Spain. The Polisario Front fights for the independence of Western Sahara, while Morocco claims territory for itself on the Atlantic coast. According to experts, Morocco wanted to put diplomatic pressure on Spain to recognize its sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Ceuta and Melilla have the EU’s only land border with Africa. So the regions are regularly the destination of those who hope for a better life in Europe.
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