Migrants see Ceuta, on the Moroccan border, as a gateway to the European Union. Some 8,000 people have managed to enter the enclave in recent days. Spain is returning migrants on a large scale and has reportedly already deported some 4,800 people.
Spanish security forces also fired swimmers straight away on Wednesday morning. Moroccan agents also intervened. They expelled hundreds of young men who had gathered at the fence on the outer border of the Spanish enclave of about 85,000 people.
Morocco is said to have suddenly relaxed border security in Ceuta earlier this week. This allowed the massive assault to take place. Analysts have linked him to a diplomatic feud between Spain and Morocco. Countries disagree as a seriously ill rebel leader is treated in a Spanish hospital.
Morocco’s foreign ministry previously complained that Spain had robbed Brahim Ghali of the Polisario Front under a false name without notifying Morocco. The Polisario is fighting for an independent state in Western Sahara, claimed in part by Morocco.
Spain’s foreign minister said Morocco had stressed that there was no link between Ghali’s hospitalization and the influx of migrants. A Moroccan minister made this link on Wednesday. He said his country has the right to make it clear that underestimating Morocco has consequences.
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