Surge of Illegal Migration Attempts Pits Spain against Algeria

The surge of illegal migration attempts on board inflatable boats departing from Algeria has pitted the Spanish authorities against their Algerian counterparts.

The increase in illegal migrants’ arrivals from Algeria has prompted the Spanish Interior Ministry to summon the Algerian Ambassador to offer explanations in this respect in a move that is indicative of a brewing crisis between the two countries.

Spanish media predict an impending worsening of ties between Madrid and Algiers against the backdrop of the failure of Algerian authorities to halt the wave of illegal sea arrivals in southern Spanish coasts of migrants from Algeria and beyond.

Spanish news website, El Mundo, said that the Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido is intent on expressing Spain’s concerns regarding the “alarming” increase of illegal migrants departing from Algeria.

For its part, Spanish news agency, EFE, explained that Zoido will stress the need for Algeria to ensure maritime patrol of its coasts, especially in light of the increase of illegal embarkations with the rescue at sea of 519 would-be migrants off Murcia’s coast on November 18.

The Spanish authorities are blaming Algeria for failing to monitor its “porous” borders. Algeria’s border control laxism has benefited human trafficking networks who are gradually shifting their activities away from conflict stricken Libya to Algerian coasts.

Disenchanted Algerian youths are also seeking salvation through sea crossings to Spain amid bleak economic prospects and high youth unemployment rate hitting 26%.

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