Spain Says Morocco's Use Of Minors To Breach Border 'unacceptable'
Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles on Saturday denounced as "unacceptable" Morocco's use of young people to violate Spain's borders following a record influx of arrivals early last week
Madrid, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th May, 2021 ) :Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles on Saturday denounced as "unacceptable" Morocco's use of young people to violate Spain's borders following a record influx of arrivals early last week.
Spain and Morocco have been locked in a diplomatic spat over Western Sahara, which set off a chain of events that last week saw up to 10,000 mainly young people cross into the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta as Moroccan guards looked the other way.
The arrivals overwhelmed the tiny enclave and although most have been sent back, there are still more than 800 mostly Moroccan minors in Ceuta, where the authorities are working around the clock to track down their parents.
"It's unacceptable from any point of view, whether you're talking international law or humanitarian law," she said on Saturday.
"No country acting in a spirit of good neighbourliness could use minors in that way." Spain, she said, had always been "one of Morocco's main supporters, but we demand respect from Morocco... because that is key to coexistence." Madrid said 1,500 of the arrivals were minors while Amnesty International gave a figure of 2,000. Ceuta has accused Rabat of using "manipulative tricks" to encourage youngsters to cross to put pressure on Spain over Western Sahara.
The influx was made possible because Moroccan border forces deliberately looked the other way in what was widely understood as a punitive gesture after Spain offered hospital treatment to the leader of Western Sahara's independence movement.
The huge influx of people had triggered fears of an upsurge in Covid-19 infection, but by Friday, that number stood at just 39 imported cases, health ministry figures showed.