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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Ceuta-Morocco border agents prevent mass illegal migrant crossing

(6 March 2014)

It is reported that approximately 1,500 African migrants have attempted to illegally breach Ceuta’s border with Morocco. Migrants were trying to reach Spanish sovereign territory but were halted by border agents. Regional reports claim that the attempted crossing took place at the Tarajal and Biutz locations. The Spanish enclave of Ceuta is situated on the north coast of Africa and shares a western border with Morocco, becoming a popular crossing for illegal Sub-Saharan migrants.

Spain’s Interior Minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, commented, “There is a huge wave of migration, with thousands and thousands of people trying to enter illegally in Spain and so in the European Union”. He estimates that approximately 40,000 people in Morocco are waiting to cross the border to enter into European territory.

Illegal migration issues at Spain’s other enclave, Melilla, were highlighted in February 2014 when approximately 150 African migrants stormed the border fence, with an estimated 100 succeeding. Reports also claim that over a dozen migrants drowned in Moroccan waters on 6th February 2014 while attempting to enter Ceuta by sea, shortly after another attempted mass crossing of the land border. Spain’s interior ministry confirmed that police fired rubber bullets at the migrants who swam into Spanish territory, but denied that this action contributed to their drowning.

Sources

“Migrants storm Morocco border fence to enter European Melilla enclave”, International Boundaries Research Unit, 26th February 2014. https://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru/news/boundary_news/?itemno=20303&rehref=%2Fibru%2F&resubj=Boundary+news Headlines.

“More than a thousand immigrants storm Ceuta border”, Prensa Latina News Agency, 4th March 2014. http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2439101&Itemid=1.

“Police stop over 1,500 migrants at Spain-Morocco border”, Euronews, 5th March 2014. http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/05/police-stop-over-1500-migrants-at-spain-morocco-border/