Morocco needs help to counter migrant trafficking mafias- Spanish PM says
Morocco needs help in facing the repercussions resulting from a surge in illegal migration, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
Sanchez had thanked Moroccan security forces for their efforts to counter illegal migration flows and their crackdown on migrant trafficking networks, responsible for the death of at least 23 migrants in Melilla crossing last Friday.
“As a transit country, Morocco suffers from the problems of illegal migration and we should help it act against the mafias and human trafficking networks,” Sanchez told Cadena Ser radio.
“The main culprits in what happened in Nador are the human trafficking mafias who led the violent assault, as shown by the images that circulate online and in social media,” Sanchez said, while deploring the dead and expressing solidarity with the families.
“We have to put ourselves in the shoes of Spanish security forces…and Moroccan authorities,” who suffered injuries due to attack, he said.
On Friday, some 2000 migrants attacked a border crossing between Nador and Melilla assaulting security forces using sticks and stones as well as acid and knives, in the most violent crossings ever reported in northern Morocco.
Sanchez recalled that during the last 12 months “at least 8 violent attacks have been organized by mafias on the fence near Nador.”
“Spain and the EU are called upon to increase development aid to origin and transit countries,” he said.
He made the case for fostering cooperation with Morocco to counter illegal migration.
Nearly 140 Moroccan security personnel were hurt in the crossing as migrants showed unprecedented violence and defiance.