The initiative is part of Spain’s attempt to modernize the security system at the borders.
Rabat – The Spanish Ministry of Interior has announced a deadline for the removal of barbed wire from Ceuta and Melilla border. According to El País, the barbed wire surrounding the fences separating Morocco from the two Spanish enclaves should be removed before the end of the year.
In January 2019, the Spanish government announced its intention to remove the famous fences that “put people’s lives in danger, instead of preventing assaults on the borders”, reports El Mundo.
Some weeks later, the Spanish government explained that they would replace the barbed wire with another material, ensuring security without harming anyone. The Spanish Ministry of Interior also announced that they would raise the fences, making them reach 10 meters.
According to El Mundo, Ministry of Interior will devote a EUR 32.7 million budget to the improvement of the infrastructures and security systems in the crossing borders of Ceuta and Melilla. The plans include changing surveillance cameras and implementing a facial recognition system, among other modifications.
Official data from Spanish authorities recorded that 3,344 unaccompanied minors from the MENA region arrived in Ceuta in 2018. 3,302 of the unaccompanied minors were boys and 42 were girls, many of whom came from the neighboring cities of Tetouan and Tangier in northern Morocco.
However, in April 2019, Spanish news outlet ABC reported that Spanish authorities noticed a 52% decline in the number of irregular migrants from April 2018 to 2019. Successful irregular migration attempts from Ceuta and Melilla crossing borders also decreased, from 1,085 in 2018 to only 226 in 2019.