On May 15 Morocco authorized the repatriation of 200 Moroccans stranded in Melilla.
Rabat – Spain and Morocco have agreed to start the repatriation process for Moroccans who have been stranded in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta since March 13 when Morocco closed its borders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
EFE reported that the Government Delegation in Ceuta made the announcement on Thursday, May 21.
In a statement, the delegation said that a group of Moroccan citizens will be repatriated tomorrow, May 22.
Over 30,000 of Moroccans have been stranded in the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta and scattered across the globe due to closed borders and travel bans, implemented as part of Morocco’s preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The statement said that the number of people eligible for the first wave of repatriations and the time of departure is yet to be announced.
Ceuta’s health advisor Javier Guerrero described the news as “very good,” after the announcement.
He said he was very concerned about the issue.
The government adviser said that the police will be in charge of organizing the repatriation.
He expressed hope that all Moroccans will be able to go back to their country to be with their families, commenting on the distressing situation of thousands of people stranded across the world.
On May 15, the Moroccan government authorized the repatriation of 500 Moroccans stranded in the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
About 200 citizens re-entered Morocco on the same day the news was reported, while the remaining 300 are set to travel to Morocco in a second phase.
Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani estimated the number of Moroccans stranded abroad at 31,819 as of Tuesday, May 19.
In response to criticism from Moroccans abroad, El Othmani said the allegations about the abandonment of these citizens by the government are “devoid of any foundation.”
El Othmani announced that the scene is set for repatriations. “I hope the good news will be announced soon,” he said on May 20.