Officials announced that the North African country has thwarted 88,761 irregular migration attempts last year, up by 37 percent from the 2017 statistics.
Rabat – Moroccan security services have thwarted more than 30,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019, compared to 88,761 of foiled attempts in 2018.
Spokesperson of the government, Mustapha El Khalfi, announced on Thursday that the decrease in the number of irregular migration attempts reflects the “great” effort of Morocco’s law enforcement forces against the issue of undocumented migration and the trafficking networks active in this area.
El Khalfi met with the p after the weekly government council, telling them that the 2019 statistics were shared by the Ministry of Interior.
The Minister added that the statistics “testify to the considerable efforts” made by Morocco to combat irregular migration networks, especially those active on the Morocco-Spain axis.
Spain and Morocco have been facing considerable pressure on both sides of the axis due to the flow of irregular migrants.
The issue prompted the two countries to strengthen their cooperation to fight irregular migration networks.
Spain has been a strong supporter of Morocco’s efforts on migration, repeatedly calling on the European Union to help the North African country in the Mediterranean.
The European country also expressed satisfaction with Morocco’s efforts, emphasizing that the number of irregular migrants in Spain dropped by 52% from April 2018 to April 2019.
The Spanish Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, lauded the cooperation between the two countries, saying that her country has “full confidence” in the collaboration with Morocco.
The Moroccan-Spanish collaboration has been reinvigorated in the last months, especially after the recent visits of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Morocco in November 2018 and the Spanish royal family in February 2019.
In a recent interview, Sanchez stressed the significance of the ties between his country and Morocco, saying that Morocco is a “special ally” for Spain. “Progress and prosperity in Morocco,” he said, are key to the stability of the region.
During Thursday’s Press Conference, El Khalfi also commended Morocco’s strategy in handling the issue, emphasizing that “Morocco continues its policy of fighting [irregular] immigration with a humanitarian approach, noting that the Royal Navy has intensified its rescue operations of irregular migrants, and, at the same time, “Morocco is implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration adopted last December  in Marrakech”