Spain’s African enclave struggles to handle migrant influx

CEUTA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta awoke to a humanitarian disaster on Wednesday after hundreds of migrants who crossed over from Morocco spent the evening sleeping the place they may discover shelter.

Exhausted by both scaling a double-wide border fence or swimming within the Mediterranean, some migrants spent the evening in an overcrowded warehouse beneath the gaze of Spanish police.

More than 8,000 folks crossed into Spanish territory throughout the earlier two days, with many risking their lives by swimming round a breakwater to attain a seaside on the European aspect.

Spain’s Interior Ministry mentioned that it had returned roughly half of the migrants, however there have been many unaccompanied minors which Spanish legislation says have to be taken into care by authorities.

Many shopkeepers saved their shops shuttered, whereas native colleges within the metropolis of 85,000 reported that attendance dropped by 60%.

While Morocco was tightening controls of a border after two days of permitting crossings, Spanish authorities elevated their criticism of counterparts in Rabat.

“This is an act of defiance,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez informed Spain’s Parliament, a day after he visited Ceuta. “The lack of border control by Morocco is not a show of disrespect of Spain, but rather for the European Union.”

Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya additionally elevated her tone on Wednesday, saying for the primary time in public that Spain believes Morocco loosened its border management to retaliate for Spain having given medical help to the pinnacle of the Western Sahara liberation motion, a disputed territory to Morocco’s south.

“It tears our hearts out to see our neighbors sending children, even babies… (because) they reject a humanitarian gesture on our part,” González Laya informed Spanish public radio.


Follow AP’s world migration protection at

Back to top button