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Morocco: migrants protest at UN refugee office in Rabat

Migrants hold placards during an anti-racism demonstration in the Moroccan capital Rabat on June 28, 2022 [AFP via Getty Images]
Migrants hold placards during an anti-racism demonstration in the Moroccan capital Rabat on June 28, 2022 [AFP via Getty Images]

About 70 irregular immigrants participated in a protest on Tuesday in front of the headquarters of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Moroccan capital Rabat, Anadolu has reported. The protest was held just days after 23 migrants were killed and others were injured when they attempted to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Morocco's northern coast.

According to Anadolu, the immigrants demanded opportunities for decent work, healthcare, residence permits and the facilitation of their migration to other countries, especially in Europe. They also called for treatment for those injured on the border with Melilla, and for them not to be sent to distant cities within the Kingdom.

Sudanese citizen Awad called on both Morocco and the UNHCR to intervene to treat them fairly after what they were exposed to during the attempt to get into Melilla. "The immigrants are still suffering from the repercussions of the incident," he pointed out. The migrant criticised what he described as the silence of the UNHCR regarding what happened in Melilla, given that many migrants were killed and injured. "I emigrated from Sudan because of the lack of security," he added.

READ: Human rights groups call for probe into death of 23 refugees crossing into Melilla

Muhammad is from Eritrea. He told Anadolu that he left his country to go to Sudan, before entering Libya, Algeria and then Morocco. He called for migrants' rights to be guaranteed, not least because they are trying to improve their living conditions.

Most of the irregular immigrants in Morocco come from African countries suffering from wars, insecurity and economic problems. They seek jobs and better living conditions in Europe.

The Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta on the northern coast of Morocco are the two most popular crossing points for irregular immigrants to enter Europe. Although under Spanish administration, along with the Chafarinas Islands in the Mediterranean they are regarded by Morocco as being "under occupation".

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AfricaInternational OrganisationsMoroccoNewsUN
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