Moroccan authorities ramp up efforts to curb migration


Moroccan authorities highlighted their efforts in tackling illegal migration on January 3, according to AFP.

Morocco and neighbouring countries are acting tougher on clandestine migration, stopping migrant boats and foiling trafficking gangs. 

The kingdom is a popular departure point for those attempting to reach Europe given the short distance between the country and Spain. 

Recently, Spain’s Interior Ministry found that 56,852 illegal migrants had reached the country in the whole of 2023, mostly arriving at the Canary Islands. The migrant numbers are up by 82% from 2022 and the highest they have been since 2018 when over 64,000 arrived on Spanish shores. Similarly illegal migration from Italy, despite Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s anti-immigration sentiment, and Greece skyrocketed in 2023. 

Morocco’s authorities noted that they delivered on thwarting a mass number of people seeking to reach the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on New Year’s Eve. 

READ:Morocco foiled 366,000 attempts at irregular migration to EU

It has been reported that migrants, in high numbers, seek to enter the border into Spain during the festive period given that there are weaker security measures during that time. 

The Moroccan Royal Navy had strengthened its operations to tackle migration attempts at the end of 2023. In December it announced numerous plans which coincided with the imminent opening of the new sea link between the Canary Islands and Las Palmas. 

Said link was founded in collaboration with the two countries with a serious intent on cracking down on the illegal movement of people.  

Experts have said that this move is a step forward in tackling the migration problem which is high on the agenda of the two countries. 

Abdel Fattah El-Zein, the coordinator of the African Network for Migration and Development, said, “This sea link, which is expected to bring together Morocco and the Canary Islands and which comes in a commercial nature, could lead to a major disruption of the migration flow.” 

The operations carried out by the Royal Navy will enhance the security of this route.” 

AFP/ Euractiv/ La Croix International


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