Not A Fluke, A Trend

Last week’s attack on the Spanish presidio of Ceuta by a large group of African immigrants in the North of Morocco has been replicated in the enclave of Melilla. As many as 650 immigrants scaled the border fences at once, and about 300 of them managed to get through.

There is no sign of change anytime soon, and we may well have to get used to these mass attemps at immigration:

Rodrigues agrees that “you mustn’t look back. You mustn’t ask yourself questions or it will break you psychologically.

“I’ve traipsed through nine African countries, including Niger, Senegal and Mauritania, before spending weeks in the forest in Morocco.

“I’ve not seen my family for almost two years. I came over to Melilla on Monday and it was hellish.”

Steven and Rodrigues say no matter how much extra security Morocco and Spain draft to the enclaves, no matter how much high-tech surveillance equipment they put in place, they cannot prevent further mass attempts by immigrants to force their way over the fencing.

“People will keep on trying to get to Europe. They will try, and maybe they will just die” in the process, opined Steven. “Africa is in a mess, there’s war, there is so much suffering. We want to leave all that behind,” says Rodrigues. “Spain is the nearest point for us. I’d have tried to get to France, but it’s too far, too difficult.” Asked why the immigrants just keep on coming, Steven pins the blame squarely on African governments.

What is sickening is that these latest attempts at immigration have cost the lives of at least six people at the hands of Moroccan and Spanish border police.