[ 20. Jun 2018 ]

Situation at the land-border to the Spanish colonies Ceuta and Melilla

Praying spot of the raided Affra Camp around Nador. Credit: L’Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH)

May/June 2018 - On the first day of Ramadan, we witnessed violent raids in the forests around Nador. The makeshift camps of travellers who live here, waiting for a chance to jump the fences of Melilla were completely destroyed.


Ironically, only the place for prayers in the camp, erected by Muslim travellers, stayed untouched by the Moroccan forces.[3]

The European borders of Melilla and Ceuta remain heavily secured by both Spanish and Moroccan Forces. On 17th of May, some hundred travellers were blocked by Moroccan forces to jump the fences of Ceuta.[4] On 6th of June, there was another collective attempt of 250 and 150 people trying to jump the fences of Ceuta, but it was thwarted nearly entirely.[5] On 18th of May, the Association for Human Rights Andalucía (APDHA) published a report on Europe’s southern external borders, notably on the Ceuta and Melilla borders. They call the respective border zone ‘un campo de experimentacíon’, an experimentation ground, for repressive politics of control.[6] The association denounces that millions of euros have been invested for often obscure projects in Morocco, the placement of new fences, the installation of new concertina barbed-wire (lately in the ports), the experimentation with drones and tanks and the building of new trenches on the Moroccan side of the border.[7]

Facing this constant repression from the European border regime and the Moroccan authorities, many people rely on self-organised solidarity structures. An example of such structures is the women’s rights and support association in Rabat, l’Association des Femmes Refugiées et Migrantes au Maroc (AFRMM). Here, women across nationalities empower one another by organising workshops on how to break the isolation they face in Morocco and deal with repression and discrimination. Together, they run a small shop where they sell home made items in order to support their activities. The association also offers legal and medical support to women, as well as supporting the bureaucratic procedures allowing migrants’ children to attend school. The association is currently working on opening a social center in Rabat, to have a collective space for their activities.



This article is part of: Alarm Phone 6 Week Report, 30 April - 10 June 2018, published on June 12, 2018 in ::