Morocco is now taking back unaccompanied Moroccan minors who had travelled illegally to the European Union. King Mohammed VI ordered that. He wants the issue to be settled ‘definitively’, said the government in Rabat on Tuesday.
Last month 8000 people reached the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa from Morocco because Moroccan border guards did not intervene. Many were sent back right away, but it is not allowed with minors. Of this age group, 1500 to 2000 remained in Spain. The government in Madrid felt blackmailed.
‘Morocco is ready, as it has always done, to cooperate with European countries and the European Union to resolve this issue’, states in the Government Declaration. The country says “accept the return of duly identified unaccompanied minors.” This would now often be stranded by ‘slowness’ and ‘blockages resulting from complex procedures in certain European countries’.
in Ceuta were the result of a diplomatic conflict between Spain and Morocco over the Western Sahara. Spain had brought the rebel leader Brahim Ghali of the independence movement Polisario from Algeria for medical treatment. Morocco considered him a terrorist and was furious that it had not been informed.
A court in Spain decided on Tuesday that Ghali should not be detained because there was no evidence that he would be guilty of torture, murder and genocide, among other things. Madrid then said that it was hoped that the relationship with Morocco would return to normal. The judge will soon have to decide whether a lawsuit against Ghali can be brought in Spain. The 71-year-old Ghali, who was struggling with a corona infection, left the hospital on Tuesday after more than a month and is “safe and healthy” on his way to Algeria, according to a spokesperson for Polisario.
Morocco talks about the relationship with Spain as “a story of broken trust and mutual respect” and a “test for the bilateral partnership.”