Melilla tragedy: UN accuses Morocco and Spain of 'excessive use of force' | The migrant crisis

Melilla drama: UN accuses Morocco and Spain of “excessive use of force” migrants

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempted to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, June 24. At least 23 of them are dead.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday announced the opening of an investigation into the deaths of at least 23 people during the attempt by some 2,000 African migrants to enter by force, last Friday, in the x27;Spanish enclave of Melilla from Moroccan territory.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor's Office has announced that it has requested an investigation to shed light on what happened, hours after the UN demanded an investigation independent on this drama, the deadliest ever recorded on the borders between Morocco and the two Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, the only borders of the European Union (EU) on the African continent.

At least 23 migrants died and 140 police officers were injured, according to Moroccan authorities, when some 2,000 migrants tried to cross the high chain-link fence separating Melilla from the Moroccan border town of Nador.

< p class="e-p">The Spanish public prosecutor's office based its decision on the seriousness of the facts that occurred, which could affect people's fundamental rights.

A fence separates Spain from Morocco in Melilla.

For its part, the UN called on the two countries to ensure an effective and independent investigation and denounce excessive use of force against migrants.

This is unacceptable and this drama must be investigated, added the spokesperson during his daily press briefing, specifying that the excessive use of force was seen by the UN on both sides of the border.

“We were shocked by the images of violence on the border between Morocco and Spain, in North Africa, this weekend, which resulted in the death of dozens of human beings, asylum seekers, migrants.

—Stéphane Dujarric, UN Spokesperson

People who migrate have rights, these must be respected and we see them too often flouted, insisted Stéphane Dujarric.

In Rabat, around fifty migrants demonstrated on Tuesday in front of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) against the inhuman treatment inflicted by Moroccan security forces on Friday and to claim refugee status, AFP noted.

Migrants take part in an anti-racism protest in the Moroccan capital Rabat on June 28, 2022.

In Nador, we were beaten in an inhumane way, a source told AFP Omar, a Sudanese migrant who fled war and prison in his country. We don't feel safe here, our lives are in danger, he added.

June 24 is a black day. There were jostling and then the security forces beat many of our brothers, testified Ahmed, an Eritrean, denouncing a butchery.

“We want to know what happened so we can explain it to the relatives of the deceased.

— Ahmed, an Eritrean protester

Where are the rights of refugees in Morocco? could we read on the signs of the protesters.

The European Union, its member countries and Morocco are responsible for this disaster, said the Platform of Sub-Saharan Associations and Communities in Morocco (ASCOMS) in a petition published on Tuesday.

The majority of new migrants flooding into Morocco come from Sudan, particularly Darfur, where a new outbreak of violence recently left hundreds dead and 50,000 displaced.

Many pass through Libya and Algeria – despite an officially closed border with Morocco – to arrive in the Cherifian kingdom.

In the midst of a crisis with Algeria, the Morocco has pointed the finger at its neighbor's responsibility for the Melilla tragedy, criticizing its deliberate laxity in controlling its borders with the kingdom, according to Spanish media citing a statement from the Moroccan embassy in Spain.


A press release qualified as a headlong rush by the Algerian diplomat c in charge of the Western Sahara issue, Amar Belani, who accused Rabat of looking for scapegoats to offload his responsibilities, on the Algerian news site (TSA).

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