Madrid — Spain’s prime minister flew to the nation’s North African enclave Tuesday to include a migration disaster with neighboring Morocco after 6,000 migrants swam or walked over the border.
Spain deployed troops and further police to repel crowds who had been making an attempt to get round safety fences from Morocco into the tiny Spanish territory after an enormous incursion of migrants the day earlier than.
Movies emerged that appeared to point out Moroccan troopers opening safety gates to let migrants by to the Spanish port metropolis.
“This sudden arrival of irregular migrants is a critical disaster for Spain and Europe,” stated Pedro Sanchez in a televised tackle to the nation earlier than travelling to Ceuta and Melilla, one other Spanish enclave bordering Morocco.
European Union leaders backed Spain, saying the mass incursion in Ceuta was a breach of the bloc’s borders.
European Fee Vice President Margaritis Schinas known as for a “sturdy safety of our borders.”
Specialists recommended this big inflow, which included total households, was an try by Morocco to stress Spain to change its coverage towards Western Sahara, the disputed territory to which Rabat lays declare.
Morocco and Spain have been mired in a diplomatic dispute over the presence in Spain of a Polisario Entrance chief, whose motion has fought for the independence of Western Sahara.
The chief, Brahim Ghali, is receiving therapy at a hospital in Logroño in northern Spain, after he was recognized with COVID-19, the illness brought on by the coronavirus.
The Polisario Entrance fought an extended conflict towards Morocco to win the independence of the disputed Western Saharan territory, which was a Spanish colony till 1975.
Rabat claims the territory as a part of Morocco partly because it incorporates necessary deposits of phosphates, however the Polisario Entrance has demanded an independence referendum.
Ignacio Cembrero, a Spanish journalist who writes ceaselessly on Morocco, stated Rabat had relaxed safety measures on the border with Ceuta to attempt to power Madrid to vary its stance on Western Sahara.
“The Moroccan international minister, Naser Burita, stated in January that Rabat needed Spain to vary its coverage to help Moroccan claims over Western Sahara. That is the way it places stress on Madrid,” he advised VOA.
Spain has lengthy maintained an answer to the dispute can solely come from an settlement brokered by the United Nations.
Moroccan Overseas Minister Naser Burita requested final week whether or not Spain needed to “sacrifice relations with Morocco” by failing to tell Rabat of Ghali’s presence in Spain.
Analysts stated it appeared Morocco was taking part in a well-known recreation by enjoyable its border controls to show a political level towards its neighbor Spain.
“What has occurred in Ceuta is one other instance of how Morocco performs with migration as a way to pursue its personal pursuits. The EU shouldn’t give floor confronted with this stress,” Estrella Galan, director of the non-profit Spanish Fee to Support Refugees, advised VOA.
Spain’s international minister, Arancha González Laya, dismissed claims the arrival of hundreds of Moroccans in Ceuta was linked to the row over Ghali.
“I can not communicate for Morocco, however what they advised us just a few hours in the past, this afternoon, is that this isn’t as a result of disagreement over Ghali,” she advised Cadena Ser, a Spanish radio station. “Spain has been very clear and detailed concerning the (Ghali) case. It’s merely a humanitarian subject.”