What’s behind the migrant crisis between Morocco and Spain? | Inside Story

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  • Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “What’s behind the migrant crisis between Morocco and Spain? | Inside Story” – below is their description.

    Many migrants using inflatable rings and dinghies have often made the dangerous journey from Morocco into Spain.

    But this week an influx of at least 8,000 was unusually high, threatening a humanitarian crisis.

    Many were young men, but there were also families and unaccompanied minors.

    At least one person died making the crossing.

    Thousands have been expelled by the Spanish authorities.

    Campaigners are worried the migrants’ rights have been violated during what they describe as a ‘rapid pace of expulsions’.

    The number of arrivals has now dropped after what appears to be an attempt by Morroccan authorities to tighten border controls.

    Police scuffled with people as they tried to force their way into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

    The event has caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.

    So, how does this affect the migration across Europe?

    Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom.


    Catherine Woollard, Secretary General of European Council on Refugees and Exiles

    Ruth Ferrero, Lecturer in Political Science and Senior Researcher at Complutense University of Madrid

    Lahcen Haddad, Strategic Affairs Analyst and former Moroccan minister.

    Al Jazeera English YouTube Channel

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    In This Story: Ceuta

    Ceuta is a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, it lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

    It was part of the province of Cádiz until 14 March 1995. On that date, Statutes of Autonomy were passed for both Ceuta and Melilla.

    Ceuta, like Melilla and the Canary Islands, was classified as a free port before Spain joined the European Union. Its population consists of Christians, Muslims, and small minorities of Sephardic Jews and ethnic Sindhis from modern-day Pakistan.

    Spanish is the official language. Darija Arabic is also spoken by 40–50% of the population.

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  • In This Story: Morocco

    Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Marrakesh’s medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, offers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water. 

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  • In This Story: Spain

    Spain, a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church. 

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