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Spain intensifies the deportations of migrants back to Morocco

Migrants wait to cross the border back to Morocco at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on May 20, 2021.   -  
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ANTONIO SEMPERE/AFP or licensors

Spain

On Thursday dozens of migrants, could be seen queuing in front of Spain's Ceuta border control, after having succeeded to cross the border.

Earlier this week, security forces were seen struggling to contain the crowd of migrants coming from Morocco, following an unprecendented, sudden influx of migrants, that saw over 8,000 people cross the border.

Spain said on Thursday it had already managed to deport some 6,000 people back to Morocco.

Most of those who entered into the spanish enclave of Ceuta were young men and teenagers, who said they were willing to do anything to escape unemployment, poverty, and hunger in Morocco.

Since the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, living conditions have severely affected in the North African country.

"Blackmail"

If the Guardia Civil has regained control of the border, tensions are still running high between Spain and Morocco.

Madrid has been providing medical assistance to the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, an organisation contesting Morocco's sovereignty over the southern province of the country and frequently clashing with security forces.

Analysts said it was clear Morocco had turned a blind eye to those entering Ceuta in order to put diplomatic pressure on Spain to recognise its sovereignty over Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony mainly under Moroccan control.

Spain accused Morocco of "blackmail" on Thursday for allowing migrants to cross into its territory.

The Spanish government has received the support of top European officials, with European Commission vice president Margaritis Schinas warning that Europe "won't let itself be intimidated by anyone on the issue of migration" in a veiled allusion to Morocco.

Rabat responded in the form of a flurry of angry dispatches published by the official MAP news agency saying that "Morocco is a sovereign country" and "is not the police of Europe".

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