In the past 24 hours, about 5,000 Moroccan irregular migrants swim or walked to Ceuta, Spain. Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said Moroccan irregular migrants would be sent back to their home countries.
About 5,000 Moroccan irregular migrants have reportedly swim or walked from the breakwater to Ceuta, Spain, in the past 24 hours.
Spanish media reports said about 5,000 Moroccan irregular migrants, including large families and about 700 children, swam from midnight on May 17th at 2 a.m., while others began to cross to Ceuta on foot from where the Tarajal breakwater was located, and one person drowned.
Moroccan security guards allegedly did nothing to prevent irregular migrants from crossing, and reports said there was no room in migrant shelters in Ceuta after an irregular influx of migrants in just one day.
Ceuta local government sources reported that some irregular migrants were being held in warehouses on the industrial site as part of the Covid-19 pandemic measures.
In other news, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said they have taken measures to ensure security at the Ceuta border and to repatriate migrants who entered illegally under the current protocol.
“There is no evidence of this,” Laya said, responding to allegations in Spanish media that “the irregular influx of migrants is due to Morocco’s attempts to pressure Spain through diplomatic means.”
“This cannot be caused by the current disputes between the two countries. I don’t think the lives of young people and children can be voluntarily put at risk in response to an act of humanity. Cooperation against the migration issue is fundamental to maintain good neighborly relations with Morocco.”
DIPLOMATIC CRISIS BETWEEN MOROCCO AND SPAIN
Spain-Morocco relations, which have recently been hit by serious tensions over the Western Sahara issue, turned into a diplomatic crisis on April 22 when Spain’s leftist coalition government secretly brought Polisario Front Secretary-General Ibrahim Gali to the country for treatment for Covid-19, where he was arrested, and took him to a hospital in the city of Logrono.
During this year, the last influx of migrants who swim from Morocco to Ceuta was on April 25-26, when 149 Moroccan irregular migrants, including 40 children, crossed into Ceuta.