More than 2,000 migrants storm over fence into Spanish enclave bordering Morocco in chaotic scenes

More than 2,000 migrants storm over fence into Spanish enclave bordering Morocco in chaotic scenes at the EU’s only land border

More than 2,000 migrants attempted to storm the border separating Spain’s Melilla enclave from Morocco on Friday, the first such attempted mass crossing into the territory since the two nations mended diplomatic ties in March.

Chaotic scenes at the EU’s only land border with Africa showed thousands of migrants, from sub-Saharan Africa, running across a field before storming the border fence on Friday morning. 

At least 130 migrants managed to enter Melilla, the Spanish government’s local delegation said. 

Video showed the migrants – the vast majority of them being men – cheering and raising their arms in celebration as they ran through the streets of Melilla after storming the fence.

Melilla and Ceuta, Spain’s other tiny North African enclave, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa, making them a magnet for migrants. 

Chaotic scenes at the EU’s only land border with Africa showed thousands of migrants, from sub-Saharan Africa, running across a field before storming the border fence on Friday morning 

Video showed the migrants - the vast majority of them being men - cheering and raising their arms in celebration as they ran through the streets of Melilla after storming the fence

Video showed the migrants – the vast majority of them being men – cheering and raising their arms in celebration as they ran through the streets of Melilla after storming the fence

At least 130 migrants managed to enter Melilla, the Spanish government's local delegation said

At least 130 migrants managed to enter Melilla, the Spanish government’s local delegation said

A group of 2,000 migrants attempted to storm the border fence at 8:40 am Friday and a ‘significant number’ managed to get in, the Spanish government’s local delegation said.

The migrants were ‘perfectly organised and violent’ it added.

Morocco deployed a ‘large’ amount of forces to try to repel the assault on the border, who ‘cooperated actively’ with Spain’s security forces, the statement added.

In March this year, Spain ended a year-long diplomatic crisis by backing Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara, going back on its decades-long stance of neutrality.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez then visited Rabat, and the two governments hailed a ‘new stage’ in relations.

A group of 2,000 migrants stormed the border fence at 8:40 am Friday and a 'significant number' managed to get in

A group of 2,000 migrants stormed the border fence at 8:40 am Friday and a ‘significant number’ managed to get in

More than 2,000 migrants stormed the border separating Spain's Melilla enclave from Morocco on Friday, the first such attempted mass crossing into the territory since the two nations mended diplomatic ties in March

More than 2,000 migrants stormed the border separating Spain’s Melilla enclave from Morocco on Friday, the first such attempted mass crossing into the territory since the two nations mended diplomatic ties in March

Migrants on their way to a Centre for Temporary Residence of Immigrants (CETI) in Melilla, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, on Friday after storming the border

Migrants on their way to a Centre for Temporary Residence of Immigrants (CETI) in Melilla, Spanish enclave in northern Africa, on Friday after storming the border

The row began when Madrid allowed Brahim Ghali, leader of Western Sahrara’s pro-independence Polisario Front, to be treated for Covid-19 in a Spanish hospital in April 2021.

A month later, some 10,000 migrants surged across the Moroccan border into Spain’s Ceuta enclave as border guards looked the other way, in what was widely seen as a punitive gesture by Rabat.

Rabat calls for the Western Sahara to have an autonomous status under Moroccan sovereignty but the Polisario wants a UN-supervised referendum on self-determination as agreed in a 1991 ceasefire agreement.

Over the years, thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the 12-kilometre (7.5-mile) border between Melilla and Morocco, or Ceuta’s eight-kilometre border, by climbing the fences, swimming along the coast or hiding in vehicles.

The two territories are protected by fences fortified with barbed wire, video cameras and watchtowers.

Claimed by Morocco, the two cities have long been a flashpoint in diplomatic relations between Rabat and Madrid, which insists both are integral parts of Spain.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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