Morocco has deployed new tactics to address the influx of irregular immigration to Europe, noted Moroccan border control chief.
Rabat – In the wake of news about the Spanish government’s decision to set up what it called “smart borders,” Morocco’s has successfully deployed new tactics that helped scale down the number of irregular immigrants storming the border fences at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Northern Morocco.
Border control chief Khalid Zerouali noted that Morocco’s recent crackdowns on undocumented migrants fell by 30%. He added that border crossings especially peak during the summer.
With its recent efforts, Morocco, notably Africa’s main transit countryused by thousands of migrants as a springboard for their “European dream,” prevented approximately 25,000 border crossings this year compared to 89,000 last year.
According to authorities, the North African country has foiled 50 human trafficking networks in 2019.
Zerouali explained that thanks to its surveillance technology and manpower, Morocco has grown more vigilant. He said the authorities have spotted the vulnerabilities which used to serve as niches for smugglers during sea crossings.
But the success of he new policy has not entirely discouraged migrants from attempting to reach Europe. The number of migrants who clandestinely worked their way to Spain last year stood at 57,000.
Al Massae reported on Friday, May 17, that the Spanish Ministry of Interior is investing in a €33 million ($36,8) budget into the project, aiming at deploying high-tech tools that will assist spanish border control authorities in recognizing the identity of potential migrants.
Migrants heading to spain outnumbered hose bound for Italy and Greece, accounting for 60,000 crossings by sea. The figure has dramatically dropped since February of this year.
Spanish MP Jose Ramón Bauzá attributes the downward trend to Spain’s toughening stance on border control. Speaking to El Faro De Melilla news agency, the Spanish MP stressed the importance tracking immigrants to step up tightened security control. He said, “We can’t lose track of people entering the country.”
Migrants, most of whom come from sub-Saharan countries, show no sign of discouragement. Just four days ago, the Moroccan navy captured three boats with 117 onboard, and arrested 40 others attempting to scale the Melilla border fence.