At least 56 people were on board an inflatable boat hoping to reach Europe via Morocco.
Rabat – Moroccan security services continue to search for possible boat-wreck victims on Morocco’s coast following the tragic end to an irregular migration attempt.
The incident dates back to September 28 when security services found the bodies of seven Moroccan irregular migrants, who had been onboard an inflatable boat to reach Europe from Morocco.
As searches continue, authorities retrieved five more bodies on the morning of September 30 on Ennahla beach in Znata near Casablanca. With the latest discovery, the body count reached 12.
Moroccan television channel 2M reported on Friday, October 4 that the death toll from the inflatable boat accident has so far reached 18.
Searches are still underway to find possible bodies as at least 56 people were on board the same inflatable boat, the AFP reported.
2M reported that Moroccan authorities arrested seven suspects involved in a migration network. Police are still looking for more possible accomplices with links to the irregular migration network.
On August 29, the Moroccan government said that security services dismantled more than 11 irregular migration networks. The authorities also aborted 57,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019.
Faced with the pressure due to irregular migration, Morocco’s government has called for a shared responsibility similar to the Moroccan-Spanish partnership to face the challenges of undocumented migration.
Morocco is both a transit country and a destination for irregular migrants, especially from sub-Saharan countries.
In 2018, the government announced that it regularized the status of 50,000 migrants in four years.
The government also believes that migration is a normal phenomenon that the world should accept.
Director of migration and border surveillance at Morocco’s Ministry of Interior Khalid Zerouali told Italian news agency LaPressa in an interview that King Mohammed VI has instructed the government to adopt a humanist strategy to respect human rights.
“We believe that immigration is wealth for our society, we are not afraid of it,” said Zerouali.
In his message to the African Union (AU) Summit in 2018, King Mohammed VI said that migration should be seen as a “natural phenomenon” and should be celebrated.