Migrants see Ceuta, which borders Morocco, as the gateway to the European Union. About 8,000 people have managed to enter the enclave in recent days. Spain is a large-scale return of migrants and is said to have already expelled some 4,800 people.
Spanish security forces also promptly brought back some of the swimmers on Wednesday morning. Moroccan agents also intervened. They expelled hundreds of young men who had gathered at the fence at the outer borders of the Spanish enclave of approximately 85,000.
Morocco is said to have suddenly reduced border security in Ceuta at the beginning of this week. This allowed for a massive break-in. Analysts linked this to a diplomatic quarrel between Spain and Morocco. The two countries are at odds with each other because a rebel leader is seriously ill being treated in a Spanish hospital.
The Moroccan Foreign Ministry had earlier complained that Spain had flown in to Ibrahim Ghali from the Polisario Front under a pseudonym without informing Morocco. The Polisario Front is fighting for an independent state in Western Sahara, which Morocco claims in part.
The Spanish foreign minister said Morocco stressed that there was no link between Ghali’s hospitalization and the influx of migrants. A Moroccan minister announced the link on Wednesday. He said his country has the right to make it clear that belittling Morocco has consequences.
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