This Sunday, the African Union (AU) requested an “immediate and independent” investigation of the incident at the border fence of Melilla, Spain, in North Africa, in order to determine who can be held responsible for the tragedy. In the aftermath of the massacre, several videos and images have surfaced which attest to the brutal response of the Moroccan security forces and their lack of regard for human rights.
The tragedy took place this Friday on the Spain-Morocco border and is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters to occur in the region. So far, at least 23 immigrants have died while dozens were injured as they tried to enter Melilla, a Spanish possession in North Africa.
In response to the massacre, the president of the commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has called for an immediate investigation and condemned those who bear responsibility. “I express my deep shock and concern at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants attempting to cross an international border from Morocco into Spain, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of at least 27 people and injuries to many more,” he wrote via Twitter.
1/2: I express my deep shock and concern at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants attempting to cross an international border from #Morocco into #Spain, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of at least 23 people and injuries to many more.
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) June 26, 2022
“I call for an immediate investigation into the matter and remind all countries of their obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity and to prioritize their safety and human rights, while refraining from the use of excessive force,” Faki added.
During the incident, which took place early Friday morning, some two thousand people tried to cross the Morocco-Spain border fence in order to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Of these individuals, 133 managed to enter the city, and are currently being held at Temporary Immigrant Residence Centers (CETI). Morocco’s security forces detained about one thousand people, while 27 were killed.
This event marks the first mass attempt to cross the border after what has been called a new phase of diplomacy between Spain and Morocco, which began after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez backtracked on his government’s support for the independence of Western Sahara.
On this occasion, Sánchez defended the actions of the Moroccan security forces, while declaring that the the “mafias who traffic human beings” are “responsible.”
“Yesterday, I first showed my solidarity and then I exalted the extraordinary work being done by the state bodies and forces of our country, some of which are civil guards who were injured as a result of the violent assault,” stated Sánchez. “And I want to repeat that adjective: violent.” Sánchez claimed that the Moroccan gendarmes had “done their best to prevent the violent assault.”
(RedRadioVE) by Victoria Torres with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune