Skip to Content

Thousand blacks storm EU border fence in Ceuta

Spanish riot police in Ceuta fought running battles with a mob of more than a thousand migrants trying force their way into EU.

Published: January 3, 2017, 9:46 am

    The black migrants used rocks and metal bars.

    Five Spanish policemen and 50 members of the Moroccan forces were injured, including one who lost an eye, according to Aljazeera. Border authorities from the central government’s representative office in Ceuta, say the mob acted in an “extremely violent and organised” way.

    They tried “to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters and large stones, with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and [Spanish] Guardia Civil [police] agents,” it added.

    The Spanish enclave saw the more than 1 000 migrants battling riot police as they stormed Spanish border fence in a bid to gain entry into Europe, the British daily The Express reported.

    At least a thousand African “asylum seekers” rushed the barbed wire fence protecting the tiny north African enclave Ceuta, surrounded on all sides by Morocco. Once on Spanish territory, the economic basket cases head to the deep pockets and welcoming authorities of Germany and Sweden where they don’t have to work.

    Spanish and Moroccan authorities desperately fought off the onslaught of African migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who tried to scale the border fence as television footage showed.

    Moroccan authorities said 10 of their security personnel had been serious wounded during the fighting at the six-metre barbed wire fence early on Sunday. Footage from local TV station Faro TV showed migrants being lifted down from the border fence by cranes.

    According to the French daily Le Figaro, the Africans who were lifted from the fence on the Spanish side, were taken back to Morocco.

    The Spanish government confirmed that all the assailants had been turned back except two, who were allowed into Ceuta for medical treatment.

    Moroccan authorities said in statement: “From now on those making such attempts will be presented before the competent judicial authorities who will decree their expulsion from the kingdom (of Morocco) or heavier penalties, according the gravity of the act.”

    The Spanish enclaves in Morocco of Ceuta and Melilla are the only two land borders separating the European Union from Africa. Africans either climb over their border fences or attempt a dangerous swim along the coastline.

    There have been countless such attempts by sub-Saharan Africans living illegally in Morocco, to reach Europe. Melilla – Spain’s other North African enclave – is similarly targeted by migrants.

    In early December more than 400 sub-Saharan African migrants managed to force their way over the Ceuta border fence.

    The BBC reported that four African migrants drowned and 34 were rescued on Wednesday off the coast of Morocco when their boat sank, as they were heading to Spain or to one of the two Spanish North African enclaves.

    Libya has also become a popular departure point for African migrants, most from sub-Saharan countries, who attempt the crossing to Italy.

    An estimated 4 663 migrants died in the Mediterranean last year, while a record number of migrants – 171 299 as of November 28 – reached Italy by boat from North Africa in 2016. According to the International Organization for Migration, last year was the deadliest year ever for migrants in the Mediterranean.

    Meanwhile police have detained two Moroccans who tried to smuggle migrants into Ceuta – two hidden in a car and one in a suitcase. When police checked a car on Monday one person was found hidden in the dashboard and another in the hollowed-out back seat.

    The Africans, thought to be Guineans, received first aid as they had had little air to breathe.

    Separately, an African man was found hidden in a woman’s suitcase. The incident happened on 30 December and again the African – believed to be from Gabon – required urgent medical attention.

    The Moroccan woman was arrested in Ceuta last week by Spanish police for trying to smuggle the 19-year-old migrant from Gabon across the border with Spain curled up inside a suitcase.

    On Monday, a French national was arrested for trying to board a ferry out of Ceuta with a camper van in which 12 Algerians were found hiding, “car sick and sweating”, police told Aljazeera.

    Neither Guinea, Gabon nor Algeria suffer from conflict, but the lure of money, comfort and welcoming authorities in Europe is too great to ignore.

    Spain is often criticized for returning Africans directly to Moroccan territory. The migrants who enter its soil after clashes like these, are sent back to the other side of the fence.

    This procedure deprives the Africans concerned of submitting an application for asylum, the French daily Le Figaro noted.

    karin.bredenkamp@freewestmedia.com

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Francis Crunchie Kelly

      Racist very much?

    Europe

    Marine Le Pen pays Putin a visit

    MoscowPresident Vladimir Putin met with the leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin on Friday, Reuters reported, “handing her a potential boost to her campaign to win next month’s presidential election in France”.

    Russia warns Norway against building a missile shield

    OsloRussia has warned Norway that joining NATO's ballistic missile defense (BMD) would be met with consequences.

    Macron faces a determined Marine Le Pen in French presidential TV debate

    ParisFive of the French presidential candidates faced off in a televised debate Monday night.

    Eight letterbombs destined for EU officials neutralised

    AthensPolice in Greece have neutralised eight parcel bombs addressed to European Union officials and multinational companies in several EU countries. The parcels were discovered at a postal sorting office near Athens.

    Trump refuses to shake Merkel’s hand during frosty meeting

    WashingtonThe Atlantic Ocean was not the only dividing sea of differences between US and German leaders in the East Room of the White House on Friday. The two could barely disguise the gulf that separates them on trade and immigration.

    Republican senators implore Tillerson to cut Soros-funding

    WashingtonSix US Republican senators have asked the State Department to review US aid to NGOs run by billionaire George Soros, citing Macedonia and Albania as the most recent worrying examples of conflict-sowing interventionist policies in the Balkan.

    Rutte beats Wilders in Dutch elections, but coalition nightmare awaits

    The HaguePrime minister Mark Rutte looks set to be the winner of the Dutch election, but without coalition partners. Geert Wilders told RTL that even though he did not beat Rutte, he hoped that his party would be firm opposition to Rutte's VVD.

    Wilders and Rutte face each other in heated debate

    During a debate hosted by Dutch TV's EenVandaag, Wilders accused Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of breaking election promises and not listening to voters.

    Muslim countries condemn Dutch row with Turkey

    Several Muslim countries as well as France, have condemned the Dutch authorities for deporting a Turkish official.

    Rallies in two Dutch cities as visiting Turkish minister is deported

    RotterdamThe Turkish Family and Social Affairs Minister was deported to Germany, after Dutch authorities declared her an "undesirable alien" and stopped her within 30m of the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam on Saturday.

    Go to archive