Spain send 55 migrants back after storming of North African exclave
Only 24 hours after the massive storming of the North African Spanish exclave Melilla by hundreds of migrants, Spain has sent 55 Africans back to Morocco. The return of the migrants happened today in the framework of a bilateral agreement between Spain and Morocco, which included the representation of the Madrid government in Melilla.
In the violent storming of Mellila yesterday a migrant died from a cardiac arrest. More than 300 Africans – mostly young men from sub-Saharan countries – had tried to get over the six-meter-high border closure, according to official sources from Morocco.
Of them, 209 managed to reach EU territory, it stated today. In the meantime, 140 have submitted an asylum application. Nineteen migrants who were injured in the assault are treated in the hospital. Twelve Moroccan soldiers were wounded by migrants during the invasion, when they tried to stop them. Some of them are very bad.
It was only on Saturday that the Spanish Minister of Home Affairs Fernando Grande-Marlaska received his Moroccan counterpart Abdelouafi Laftit in Madrid to speak “mainly about migratory pressure”. Spain and the EU want to improve cooperation with Morocco in order to achieve “legal and orderly immigration”, as highlighted by Home Affairs in Madrid. Madrid and Morocco strive for a “cooperation at eye level”.
The Spanish exclaves in North Africa – Ceuta on the Strait of Gibraltar and the 250 km east of Melilla – are claimed by Morocco. In the vicinity of both areas, tens of thousands of Africans, mostly from sub-Saharan countries, are waiting for an opportunity to enter EU territory.