Migrants look back to Melilla: “Since August they began to try their luck again”

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Migrants look towards Melilla again: “Since August they began to try their luck again”

Dozens of migrantsThey have returned to the mountains near Melilla after four months with practically no presence in the area. The raids have also returned: the night from Saturday to Sunday, the Moroccan police arrested 17 people who were in the camps on mount Gurugú.

This wooded area, difficult to access, is the usual refugeof migrants waiting to try to reach Melilla. After the jump on June 24, in which at least 23 people died, most of those who were in this forest or those who tried to jump the fence were arrested or transferred to regions remote areas, in the interior of the country, with the aim of dispersing them.

Several groups of Sudanese and ChadiansThey have been in Casablanca for weeks and have returned to the Nador region to try to cross, explains a humanitarian source who works in the city and prefers not to reveal his identity. Some of them arrived in Casablanca after the jump attempt on June 24, including wounded. “Since August they began to try their luck again”, explains this source from an NGO.

Another source also regrets that many migrants have also gone in recent weeks direction south, towards Western Sahara, to try to cross in a patera to the Canary Islands. Early this Monday, Salvamento Marítimo has rescued two small boats with 69 people of North African origin near Lanzarote. and there is a third boat with 50 people of sub-Saharan origin that is still missing.  

More surveillance

Many of the migrants who live in Morocco survive as they can. In Rabat, Abdelatif, a 23-year-old Chadian who tried to jumping the Melilla fence in June, explains that he has no money to pay for the house, “there is no work, I am forced to leave the house for the time being and I am staying with a friend” . The pandemic and inflationhave taken their toll on the migrant population, who also live in fear of being arrested by the police, since many do not have legal residency. 

Since the beginning of the summer, the country's authorities have intensified surveillance in the border regions, especially in the north. In cities like Tangier or Rabat there have been raids and arrests in the neighborhoods where migrants live. 

“In the north the situation is very hard, people move because they have to live, but repression and raids are frequent,” laments Helena Maleno, from the organization Caminando Fronteras. It also explains that “the raids and arrests have intensified”; in the Western Sahara area. 

Three years in prison

In parallel to what is happening in the nearby mountains At the Melilla border, in Nador the trials of the people detained in the attempt to jump the fence on June 24 continue. The city Court of Appeals Last week he gave three years in prison to eight Sudanese people and two years to another seven, as confirmed by the official. the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. They have been convicted of serious crimes, such as organizing illegal migration, violence against officials, or retaining public officials. In total there are 74 people who have been convicted or prosecuted in the city bordering Melilla for the attempted jump.