Abdelilah Benkirane, former Secretary-General of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Morocco, called to find a solution to the illegal migration of his country's citizens across the sea, even if "this would require equal distribution of wealth."
This came in Benkirane's statements to the media in the city of Bouznika (near the capital Rabat) on Saturday, on the sidelines of a special session of the National Council of the Justice and Development Party (the party's parliament).
Activists on social media platforms have recently been circulating videos of young Moroccans illegally migrating by boats at sea, including videos of whole families with young children. This raised controversy in these platforms as well as local media.
The former Prime Minister Benkirane said that: "It is sinful to leave them like this. We must strive to find a solution to this dilemma, no matter what this solution would be, and even if we would need to equally share our funds as Moroccans to put an end to what is happening nowadays."
He added: "During the last period illegal immigration had been less or was non-existent, and the immigration of Moroccans to Europe had not been in the way it is currently happening."
Benkirane suggested that this phenomenon "raises profound questions about confidence, the economic model followed in the country, management, governance, rent (rent economy is to take advantage of funds or licenses without effort or work), money and power.
He stated: "This is difficult. When people protest, it can be considered as a demonstration act, but throwing their bodies into the sea is embarrassing, very bad and difficult."
He described this phenomenon as "a severe wound and an indicator of our terrible failure."
He went on: "The day when our children find what can preserve their dignity, they will not throw their bodies into the sea."
On September 6, the Moroccan government said that in 2018 the security authorities had thwarted more than 54 thousand illegal immigration attempts, dismantled 74 criminal networks that had been active in smuggling and human trafficking, and seized more than 1,900 human trafficking vehicles (rubber boats, water bikes, motors used in sailing).
The government also stressed in a statement that this had been carried out by the laws in force.