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Young Moroccan Attempts to Cross Ceuta’s Port

Rabat – El Faro TV has released a video by showing a young Moroccan national climbing one of the Ceuta port buildings. The young man was trying to reach the roof before the port authorities noticed him and asked him to come down.

On his way down, the individual can be heard saying, “I hate Morocco, I want to go to Spain.” The video shows two other individuals at a close distance, waving and watching him as he climbs down. 

El Faro de Ceuta said, “the young Moroccan fellows departed from the scene looking for a new opportunity.”

According to El Faro de Ceuta, the Port Authority of Ceuta is planning to close the openings near the maritime station. Immigrants use the gaps to reach the roof of the station and access the ships connecting Ceuta and Algeciras, says the Spanish daily.

El Faro de Ceuta also reported that with the increasing pressure from undocumented migration, the port has become one of the places where immigrants take refuge awaiting an opportunity to reach Spain by boarding the ships.

Morocco’s efforts to control the increasing pressure of irregular migration

In collaboration with the EU, Morocco has launched significant initiatives and operations to manage and control the massive number of undocumented migrants attempting to cross to Spain via Morocco.

Morocco’s migration and border control chief, Khalid Zerouali, said that Morocco’s strategy to curb undocumented migration has proved to be effective. In 2019, Moroccan authorities stopped 25,000 irregular migration attempts, up 30% compared to the same period in 2018. 

Zerouali added that Moroccan authorities also cracked down on 50 irregular migrant trafficking networks active at both the local and international levels, “up 63% compared with a year earlier.”

In April, Spanish news outlet ABC reported that the Spanish Ministry of the Interior noticed a 52% decline in the number of irregular migrants from April 2018 to April 2019.

According to ABC, the number of aborted attempts in July alone represented a 70% decrease.

Irregular migration attempts in Ceuta and Melilla also dropped.  ABC said that only 226 people managed to enter Spain through Ceuta and Melilla. In 2018, the number was 1,085. 

Spanish measures to curb irregular migration

In the face of the rising number of undocumented migrants attempting to enter Europe via Spain, the European country has turned to Morocco for help. Spain has granted Morocco financial aid as well as state-of-the-art equipment to support its efforts in curbing migration.

Most recently, the Spanish government approved, on August 23,  €32 million to back Morocco’s efforts to curb irregular migration.

The Spanish government previously approved a €26 million grant to Morocco’s Interior Ministry on July 5.

The grant was part of the €140 million promised by the European Commission in the 2019 budget for the “Support for the integral management of borders and migration in Morocco” project.

Morocco had earlier received €40 million from Spain as part of the European Commission’s grant.

Spain and EU gave the grants to Morocco in order to purchase equipment, including a fleet of vehicles, to reinforce Morocco’s border control. 

On the Spanish side, El Confidencial reported, in June 2019, that the Spanish ministry of interior replaced 41 DOMOS cameras and 11 fixed cameras, and installed 14 new technical cameras as well as a more modern CCTV control platform on the Ceuta border.

The Spanish news outlet also indicated that the ministry intended to launch a new facial recognition system in both Ceuta and Melilla as a way to fast-track border control and increase security.

Ceuta also planned to remove concertina wires, while Morocco started building its new wire fences.

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