Morocco becomes a central starting point for refugees on the way to Europe. More and more people are trying to get to Spain by boat. Now the security authorities are responding.
According to human rights activists, Moroccan security authorities have deported several hundred migrants from the northern coastal regions to the interior of the country. Since the middle of last week, there had been increased raids and illegal arrests of migrants, among others in the cities of Nador and Tangier, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) reported. Several camps in the woods near the Spanish exclave Melilla were also destroyed. In Nador alone, the association estimates the number of arrested migrants at more than 600.
In buses, people from countries south of the Sahara have been brought south. Some of the refugees were handcuffed in the buses. The organization speaks of serious human rights violations.
Security forces invade tent camps
The Moroccan security forces had violently penetrated into camps and apartments, reported a living in Nador refugee from Guinea the German Press Agency. The police had taken some of the refugees cell phones and valuables and then put them on buses.
Some of the refugees were released from the buses near the town of Tiznit, some 800 kilometers south of the Mediterranean coast, the human rights organization cites one of the deported migrants. Others were brought near the Algerian border.
28,000 refugees from Morocco to Spain
More recently, more and more refugees trying to reach Europe via the North African countries have chosen the route via Morocco. According to UN figures, more than 28,000 people have already arrived in Spain from Morocco this year. Thus, the arrivals in August are at the level of the entire previous year.
Germany encourages Spain in its efforts to curb the influx of refugees from Morocco to Europe. In the talks with the North African state, however, Spain has the lead, said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in the southern Spanish Sanlúcar de Barrameda during her two-day visit to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
The security forces were also massively attacking refugees in the northern Moroccan city of Tangier. The city is located on the Strait of Gibraltar , the Spanish mainland is only a few kilometers away.
The Spanish exclave Ceuta is nearby. By the end of July, more than 600 migrants had managed to storm the security fence and enter Spanish territory. This has meant that recently more migrants came to Tangier, it was said from the city administration. An employee who wanted to remain anonymous confirmed that there had been raids in several homes inhabited by migrants. More than 155 people were arrested before being deported.
Morocco’s neighboring country, Algeria , has also recently cracked down on illegal migrants. In the middle of last month, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Algerian authorities arrested several hundred migrants and abandoned them in the desert in the south of the country.