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Border fence. Photo credit: Phil Botha

Spanish NGOs challenge aid to Morocco provided to stem migrant flow

The aid granted by the Spanish government to Morocco in the fight against irregular migration is controversial. Spanish justice has just dismissed two NGOs protesting against the allocation of funds to Morocco as part of this migration fight.

Published: January 19, 2021, 7:11 am

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    It should be noted that the arrivals of migrants is a business for several NGOs. “Imagine, for a moment, that these arrivals dry up or disappear. This means that the budgets allocated to their operation will be revised downwards, hence their eagerness to sabotage actions aimed at reducing the arrival of migratory flows,” declared a former volunteer within an antenna of the Andalucia Acoge association.

    The legal challenge was in fact filed by Andalucia Acoge, in charge of the integration and monitoring of migrants as well as Access Info Europe, which is dedicated to “the defense and promotion of the right to information” and also an individual, in his capacity as taxpayer, but was rejected by the Spanish Supreme Court.

    For this high court, the two NGOs, do not have any right to demand, by judicial means, “the cancellation of the agreement signed on July 19, 2019 by the Council of Ministers, which resulted in the granting of direct aid of 30 million euros” to Morocco for the fight against migration.

    While the complaining parties consider that this was an “inappropriate” use of funding, “it is not proven that the cancellation of this fund could imply an advantage or a benefit for the complaining entities,” said the judge.

    This is not a first, since this year, conservative circles and media close to the right protested against the acquisition of vehicles dedicated to the Moroccan security forces as part of the management of migratory flows, while Spain had little control over these funds resulting from an agreement signed between Rabat and Brussels in 2018.

    And while the arrivals of migrants abound, the Spaniards unanimously denounced the “passivity” of the Moroccan authorities in term of the control of migrants. At the same time, they protested because their government − and not Morocco − contributed financially to lowering the impact of the migratory wave.

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    • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

      The reported activity by the Spanish organizations doesn’t make sense, for practical or ideological reasons.

      First, the practical reasons. Spanish aid to Moroccan security forces has historically been used well and wisely by Rabat, and that provided through th Guardia Civil is expecially prized. Morocco’s National Gendarmerie bears many of the marks of Guardia Civil training and organizational culture. At any rate, Spanish-Moroccan cooperation to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking has existed for decades, and Spanish-provided aid to Morocco’s police and security forces have long been part of this effort. Morocco, including with the former Spanish Sahara, has 3,030 km (or 1,883 miles) of border to patrol, and Spanish assistance will be very helpful. Bottom line: if Spain wants to keep out African migrants, then its forward frontier should be in Africa, not at the Straits, or Ceuta and Melilla. Spanish aid will be well-used toward this end.

      Second, the ideological consideration. “Conservative”, and certainly right-of-center NGOs and other groups, take a hard-line stance against mass migration and open borders, as they support a security regime that would keep out illegal migrants. The best way to counter EU diktats promoting mass migration and open borders, and that make deportation and repatriation almost impossible, is to keep the illegals from getting to Europe in the first place. To have the line of defense in Morocco makes a lot of sense. But for some organizations calling themselves “conservative” to push back against stronger security for Morocco that would help Spanish efforts against mass migration makes little sense. Bottom line: These organizations have likely succumbed to a disinformation campaign by pro-mass migration elements, or are running a “false flag” operation on their behalf. At any rate, their arguments against aid to Morocco make little sense, either practically or ideologically.


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