The incident occurs amidst joint efforts between Spain and Morocco to limit the flow of people into Europe.
Rabat – On the morning of Tuesday, May 7, the Moroccan Royal Marines Coastguard rescued 27 Sub-Saharan Africans off the coast of Mehdia, a town 35 kilometers north of Rabat.
The makeshift inflatable raft was rescued at approximately 11 am local time, and the passengers on board were transported safely to the nearby port of Casablanca.
According to sources inside the military, onboard the raft were seven women‒two of whom said to be pregnant.
This event occurs during a recent increase in irregular immigration into Morocco after joint efforts with the Spanish government to control the flow of people into Europe.
Nearly 60,000 people arrived on Spanish shores irregularly in 2018, largely from Morocco and West Africa. According to Spanish statistics, the number of arrivals by sea dramatically decreased as of February 2019, and have remained low since then.
In late 2018, the Moroccan Government received €36 million in financial aid, approved by the EU, to support Morocco’s efforts regulating irregular migration and tackling human trafficking networks.