Why Are Moroccans Trying To Enter Europe Through Spain’s Beaches?

Spain deploys armed forces on its beaches as thousands of migrants from Morocco entered Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves situated on the northern coast of Morocco, this week.

ZEE5 Web Desk

May 22, 2021

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2 min

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The migrant crisis at the Spain-Morocco border has escalated in the past few days. The migrants trying to flee Morocco seems to not stop at violent clashes, tear gas, or fear of hypothermia. The event has deepened the diplomatic rift between Spain and Morocco. The thousands of undocumented migrants continuing to enter the Spanish territory has caught international attention.

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A Moroccan government minister informed that his country relaxed border controls this week in retaliation to Spain’s allowance of Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to receive treatment for COVID-19 in one of its hospitals last month. Ghali is a top militant who opposed the Moroccan rule over Western Sahara.

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As a result of the migrants trying to make their way out of Morocco and into Europe, Spain has been left scrambling to secure its borders. According to reports, thousands have already arrived at Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves on the northern coast of Morocco. An unofficial count suggests that 8,000 migrants, including families, have already entered Ceuta. These migrants are believed to have crossed the international borders by swimming around the fences in the sea. Until now, at least one person has been reported to have died while attempting to make the border cross.

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The sudden migration attempts prompted Spain to deploy armed forces to secure its beach in the enclaves. Ceuta and Melilla have been under Spanish rule since the 17th century. However, Morocco, which got independence in 1956, has claimed the territories as its own since. Reacting to the situation, the EU has expressed its support for Spain emphasizing on EU’s border policies.

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