DrThe news of the border opening spread in a jiffy. People came on foot and in taxis from the surrounding areas to the border fence around the Spanish region of Ceuta in Morocco. And soon they came from cities like Tetouan and Tangier. Perhaps as many as 10,000 people were flocking in 36 hours. On previous occasions there were rumors that the Moroccan border police are paying little attention. The first migrants were already heading to Ceuta. Thousands of people wait in the mountains behind the coast for a chance to come to Europe, which seems close enough to touch on a clear day on the Strait of Gibraltar.
This time it was mainly the young Moroccans who rose up. And the youngest of them is said to be less than ten years old. They plunge into the Mediterranean Sea swimming to Ceuta or rock climbing on the beach. There are indications that this was not an automatic decision. They have sent buses to schools in Morocco.
“The children thought they were going on a trip,” said one of the mothers whose daughter also set off to Ceuta, the Spanish website El Confidencial. Lots of their friends just followed, at first it was a “party” for them, says one of the volunteers. On Friday, the last of them wandered hungry and freezing in the city streets, and some of them stayed in the parks.
The government is appealing to the mainland to receive the migrants
The Spanish authorities do not yet know how many minor Moroccans remain in Ceuta. On Tuesday there was talk of as many as 2,000. By Friday morning, authorities had registered more than 850. Most of them were temporarily housed in a warehouse behind the border fence. The Spanish government appealed to mainland areas to accept them.
Some adults – and possibly some young ones – voluntarily made their way home. More were sent home by express deportation through one of the small doors in the fence, and barely reached Spain. Spain signed an agreement to readmit an interview with Morocco in the 1990s, but this does not apply to unaccompanied minors.
The head of the Spanish right-wing VOX party, Santiago Abascal, said Morocco had “thrown the palace like battering rams” on the Spanish border. It was over by Tuesday evening. The Moroccan police no longer looked in the other direction, but stopped everyone who tried to approach the six-meter-high border fence. They also monitored what was left of the Mediterranean coast. Only a few dozen migrants climbed the cordon around the second Spanish enclave in Melilla this week.
It will not be the first time that the Moroccan government uses its own citizens and migrants in the country as a means of political maneuver. In Spain as in Morocco, one was reminded of the “Green March” from 1975. At that time, King Hassan II sent 350,000 unarmed Moroccans to Western Sahara to prove his claims against the former Spanish colony on the Atlantic coast. Morocco also claims itself two Spanish parts of North Africa. Again and again, King Mohammed VI. Return of these “occupied territories” by Spain.