Some 128 young people managed to reach the beach of the autonomous city near the border with Morocco, during this weekend. The figure, which coincides with the people served by the Red Cross in Ceuta, almost doubles the 76 entries by sea registered in the autonomous city until April 15, 2021, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior. All are of Moroccan nationality and more than twenty could be minors, according to sources of the action device. At least two bodies were recovered Sunday in Moroccan waters, according to Ceuta media.
It is the longest collective swimming crossing registered in the autonomous city. Images disseminated through social networks have recorded the departure, in small groups, of dozens of young people entering a rough sea in the middle of the eastern storm in the neighboring town of Castillejos. The Civil Guard came to request the intervention of Maritime Rescue to be able to act safely in the face of the arrival of people who jumped into the water without any equipment. Local media have criticized the inaction of the Moroccan security forces, which did intervene this Sunday in Melilla to abort an attempt to jump over the fence that separates the city from Morocco.
Some 50 people of sub-Saharan origin have been located while approaching the border perimeter of Melilla, according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights based in the neighboring town of Nador. According to the organization, Moroccan forces were deployed “rapidly and en masse” to prevent migrants from reaching the barrier without any arrest being reported by the Moroccan authorities. The Government Delegation in Melilla reported the deployment of National Police troops on the Spanish side of the border at around 8:00 pm on Sunday.
The response contrasts with the laxity shown before what happened between Ceuta and Castillejos the same weekend that the Moroccan Foreign Ministry protested the authorization granted to the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, to enter Spain and be treated for coronavirus in Logroño. Rabat’s response has been to remind Madrid that its collaboration is essential to stop the entry of people, Moroccans or not, irregularly, especially in the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
The warning also comes at a time when the European Union is questioning the will to support Rabat as a priority partner in its migration strategy, which has been praised so far in successive reports. The collaboration of the Moroccan authorities and the harsh deployment of military and police forces in the north of the country, especially in the provinces of Tetuán and Nador, bordering Ceuta and Melilla respectively, managed to halve the entry of people into Spain in a way irregular in 2019.