The scandal of recent days surrounding the ‘policing’ of the EU’s southern frontier in Ceuta and Melilla continues. Yesterday Spanish TV was full of images and reports from a group of 500 or so Africans who were bused and dumped in the desert hundreds of kilometres from reasonable sources of food ands water. The EU observer also reports on a “technical mission” of EU officials who flew to Melilla and Ceuta over the weekend “to investigate illegal immigration patterns” and evaluate the gravity of last week’s clashes, which left a minimum of 10 migrants dead.
A commission spokesman the same day reiterated that pressure is being put on Morocco to re-admit Sub-Saharan immigrants.
But Brussels’ comment came just as Medecins sans Frontieres announced that over 500 mostly Sub-Saharan immigrants had been found “in bad shape” in the desert area of Auoina-Souatar near the Morocco-Algerian border, with the NGO claiming that they had been abandoned there by the Moroccan authorities.
Volunteers of another international NGO, SOS Racisme, said 24 immigrants, out of which many had previously applied for asylum in Spain, had died of thirst in similar circumstances.
On top of this, Javier Sancho of Medecins sans Frontieres told EUobserver that several of the immigrants had “injuries of the kind that are inflicted by sticks or hits, or by the rubber batons used by Spanish border police”.