Ceuta And Melilla: Spain's North Africa Outposts
The Spanish outposts of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, which have the European Union's only land borders with Africa, are tempting launch pads for clandestine immigration to continental Europe
Madrid, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th May, 2021 ) :The Spanish outposts of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, which have the European Union's only land borders with Africa, are tempting launch pads for clandestine immigration to continental Europe.
It was captured by the Arabs and the Portuguese and has been under Spanish sovereignty since 1640.
Melilla, measuring about 200 square kilometres, is perched on the eastern edge of Morocco's Mediterranean coast, and has been under Spanish control since 1497.
It has a diverse population of about 87,000, of which around half are Muslims, and thousands of Moroccans go there to work and shop every day.
Thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the 12-kilometre (7.5 mile) border between Melilla and Morocco, or the eight-kilometre border at Ceuta, by climbing the border fences, swimming along the coast or hiding in vehicles.
- Disputed territory - Both exclaves were conquered as part of a strategy by Catholic kings of establishing advance posts of Christendom on the African continent following the expulsion of Moors and Jews from Spain in 1492.
Both port cities have developed as military and trade centres linking Africa to Europe, and since the 1990s have enjoyed a status similar to other autonomous areas such as the Basque region and Catalonia.