Spain sends back 7,800 irregular migrants coming from Morocco

Spain announced that it sent back 7,800 of the more than 8,000 irregular immigrants who entered the city of Ceuta, its territory in North Africa, through the Moroccan border between 17-19 May.

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According to statements of the press from Spain’s Ministry of Interior and Ceuta local government sources, it was reported that 7,800 of over 8,000 irregular immigrants who came to Ceuta were sent back, and 833 underage immigrants were distributed to three accommodation centers in the city.

On the other hand, Social Rights Minister Ione Belarra announced that they have reached an agreement to distribute 200 of the underage irregular migrants to 16 of the 17 autonomous administrations in the country. It was stated that the autonomous administrations would accept between 5-20 child immigrants.

Due to the diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco, more than 8,000 immigrants swam or walked to Spain from the northern (Benzu) and southern (Tarajal coast) borders of the city of Ceuta between May 17-19. With Morocco’s resumption of border control, the irregular influx of immigrants was stopped after May 20.

Spanish-Moroccan relations, which have been the scene of serious tension in recent years due to the Western Sahara issue, turned into a diplomatic crisis when the left coalition government in Spain brought Ibrahim Gali, Secretary-General of the separatist Polisario Front, from Algeria to a hospital in the city of Logrono, to be treated for COVID-19 he was diagnosed with, on April 22.

The diplomatic crisis between the two countries was exacerbated by the arrival of Polisario Front leader Gali to Spain and the subsequent irregular influx of immigrants from Morocco to Spain.

While Spain, with the support of the European Union (EU), tries to solve its problems with Morocco through diplomatic means, Morocco, which feels the support of the US, is trying to consolidate its sovereignty in Western Sahara.

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