The figures against illegal migration to Europe and in particular Spain presented by the Moroccan authorities during the 20th meeting of the permanent Hispano-Moroccan group on migration held in Rabat reveals the full extent of this tragic phenomenon.
The data for the year 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 to thwart illegal migration attempts of which MoroccoLatestNews holds a copy are frightening. The number of clandestine migration attempts stands at 63,121, of which 14,746 were foiled in the first three months of the current year alone, and some 256 criminal networks have been dismantled, including 52 networks during this first quarter of 2020, for human and migrant trafficking.
The Moroccan authorities rescued 14,236 people at sea, including around 100 during the first quarter of the current financial year. As for voluntary return, Morocco organized the return of 3,500 Moroccan and other irregular immigrants to their country of origin, including 1,080 during the first three months of 2022, 600 returns were in partnership with the Organization International for Migration.
The Moroccan authorities have also aborted assaults on Sebta and Melilla which amounted to 49 in 2021, including 47 at Melilla alone, including 12 incursions during this first half. This meeting, which made it possible to analyze the future challenges of migration after two years of health crisis, comes after yesterday’s meeting for the preparation of Operation Marhaba and is part of the roadmap drawn up during of the visit to the Kingdom, in April 2022, of the President of the Spanish Government Pedro Sanchez. The Spanish delegation was chaired by the Secretary of State for Security, Jesus Rafael Perez, while on the Moroccan side the delegation was headed by the Director of Migration and Border Surveillance.
Rafael Perez stressed in his speech the commitment of Spain and Morocco to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation on migration “We are neighboring countries and strategic partners, the daily joint work has been an example, especially with regard to the control of migratory flows and the fight against human trafficking networks“, he said Rafael Pérez.
In his speech, the Secretary of State for Security detailed the examples of joint collaboration that have demonstrated their operational effectiveness in recent years, such as joint maritime, land and air patrols between the Civil Guard and the Royal Gendarmerie; the exchange of information and police collaboration to dismantle human trafficking networks; and the creation of police cooperation centers in Tangier and Algeciras.
In short, controlling irregular migratory flows, looking out for the interests of Moroccan minors, regulating regular migration, facilitating visa formalities and continuing to support Morocco, these were the main themes addressed by the meeting held today in Rabat. Regarding the issuance of visas, Angeles Moreno Pou, Secretary of State for Foreign and International Affairs, recalled, “the quantitative and qualitative efforts made by the Spanish consular services in Moroccoin order to speed up Moroccan requests for the granting of visas. Moreno pointed out, “the desire to continue and simplify procedures as much as possibleindicating that it was in the interests of both parties to promote orderly and regular mobility”.
She further stated that Spain wants more Moroccan students to improve their academic training in Spanish institutions. It was also agreed to bring together in June 2022 the various ad hoc joint sub-committees under the migration group in order to validate sectoral action plans.