As migration patterns from Africa into Europe shift westward, European leaders are turning their attention, and their money, toward efforts to stem the fast-growing human traffic between Morocco and Spain.

EU and Moroccan officials agreed last week on a $160 million emergency funding package, making the North African country the third largest recipient of EU funds earmarked for that purpose.

Much of that money will go to stepped up border security, according to Morocco’s chief government spokesman, Mustapha El Khalifi. About $50 million will be spent to secure the sea routes to Spain and the extensive desert borders with Algeria and Mauritania

Morocco says it already has 13,000 security personnel deployed to deal with the growing flow of migrants seeking to reach Spain.

Units of riot police are permanently encamped along the borders with Ceuta and Melilla � two Spanish enclaves on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast � while the navy operates guard posts along the beaches and patrols the coast to intercept immigrant-laden boats making the dash to Spain.

The pressure on Spanish borders results from the relative success of efforts to slow the flow of migrants from Libya and other countries further to the east. That has diverted the flow of migrants toward northwestern Africa, where the number of migrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar has tripled in the past year.

About 55,000 Africans, mainly from sub-Saharan countries but increasingly including Moroccans, have tried to cross to Spain during the past year, according to the Moroccan government. Most originated from Syria, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Central African Republic and Congo.

The Spanish government says 43,000 immigrants have crossed from Morocco this year, twice as many as in all of 2017. Several thousand more have broken through the border fences around Ceuta and Melilla to reach Spanish soil.

About 55,000 Africans, mainly from sub-Saharan countries but increasingly including Moroccans, have tried to cross to Spain during the past year, according to the Moroccan government. Most originated from Syria, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Central African Republic and Congo.

The Spanish government says 43,000 immigrants have crossed from Morocco this year, twice as many as in all of 2017. Several thousand more have broken through the border fences around Ceuta and Melilla to reach Spanish soil.

Source: Voice of America

syrianewsgazette.comGeneral
As migration patterns from Africa into Europe shift westward, European leaders are turning their attention, and their money, toward efforts to stem the fast-growing human traffic between Morocco and Spain.EU and Moroccan officials agreed last week on a $160 million emergency funding package, making the North African country the...