RABAT, (The Southern African Times) – Moroccan King Mohammed VI on Tuesday ordered his government to work with Spain, France and the European Union (EU) to solve the ongoing migrants crisis in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave that borders Morocco.
Morocco has made agreements with France and Spain, clearing the hurdles for the return of dozens of underage Moroccans who entered Ceuta illegally last month, said a joint statement released by Moroccan foreign and interior ministries.
The statement added that Morocco hopes the EU and relevant countries can overcome procedural constraints to facilitate the operation.
The Spanish government said around 8,000 illegal immigrants, 438 of whom are minors, entered Ceuta from Morocco last month.
Spain has so far deported more than 6,000 of the immigrants back to Morocco, but it keeps the minors because deporting them violates Spanish laws.
For the past weeks, Spain has been accusing Morocco of deliberately loosening up its border control to let the immigrants enter the enclave as retribution for its hosting of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali.
Polisario Front is an armed group that is fighting for self-determination of West Sahara, which Morocco claims to be its territory.
Morocco has denied Spain’s accusations, saying the Spanish side is not making enough efforts to keep order on the border between Morocco and Ceuta.
The joint statement said that Morocco regrets that Spain has used the issue as an excuse to circumvent the real causes of its domestic problems.
The Moroccan authorities reserve the right to make appropriate responses to the unfounded accusations by the Spanish government, it added.