Spain, Morocco in talks to repatriate migrant minors

Madrid and Rabat are in talks to repatriate thousands of Moroccan minors who arrived in Spain alone without their parents, a Spanish interior ministry spokesman said Friday. (AFP PHOTO / SOS MEDITERRANEE / Maud VEITH)
Updated 05 October 2018
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Spain, Morocco in talks to repatriate migrant minors

  • The Spanish government estimates that about 10,000 minor migrants are living in Spain without their families — 70 percent of them from Morocco.
  • The roughly 10,000 minor migrants in Spain are under the protection of the regions or cities where they arrive.

MADRID: Madrid and Rabat are in talks to repatriate thousands of Moroccan minors who arrived in Spain alone without their parents, a Spanish interior ministry spokesman said Friday.
The Spanish government estimates that about 10,000 minor migrants are living in Spain without their families — 70 percent of them from Morocco.
The issue was discussed during a bilateral meeting held in Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast on September 14, a spokesman for Spain’s interior ministry said.
Spain’s secretary of state for migration, Consuelo Rumi, “perceived a willingness” on the part of Morocco to repatriate unaccompanied minors living in Spain during the talks, the spokesman told AFP.
“There is no concrete plan yet, this is part of negotiations, of a diplomatic process,” he added.
The roughly 10,000 minor migrants in Spain are under the protection of the regions or cities where they arrive, mainly the southern region of Andalusia and the overseas territories of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Africa.
Spain’s central government wants to incentivise other regions to take charge of some of them. Last month it unblocked 40 million euros ($46.5 million) for regions willing to welcome them.
There has been criticism of the way Spain welcomes unaccompanied foreign minors, particularly in Melilla, where many sleep in the streets or in caves waiting to smuggle themselves onto a boat to mainland Europe.
In Ceuta, local government spokesman Jacob Hachuel recently said the minors should be returned to Morocco, saying “they are better off in their family entourage.”
Spain has become the biggest port of entry for clandestine migration into Europe after Italy largely closed its borders under pressure from far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.
A total of 41,594 irregular migrants entered Spain between January 1 and September 30, according to the interior ministry.
The vast majority, more than 36,000, arrived by sea, three times the amount which arrived by sea during the same time last year. Just under 5,000 crossed the land border with Ceuta and Melilla.


Nine suspected militants killed in Egypt: ministry

Updated 18 September 2019

Nine suspected militants killed in Egypt: ministry

  • Police raids in Cairo targeted hideouts of “terrorist elements”
  • Those killed included “a commander of the Liwa Al-Thawra” extremist group

CAIRO: Nine suspected extremists including a commander have been killed in shootouts with police in suburbs of the Egyptian capital, the interior ministry said Wednesday.
Police raids to the east and south of Cairo targeted hideouts of “terrorist elements,” it said in a statement.
Those killed included “a commander of the Liwa Al-Thawra” extremist group, it added.
The Liwa Al-Thawra movement appeared in 2016 and has since claimed deadly attacks against the police and the Egyptian army.
Almost nine years after the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, security remains a chief concern in Egypt.
Hundreds of security personnel have died in an escalation of attacks since the military overthrow of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.
That ouster was led by then army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who became president after 2014 polls and secured re-election last year with an official 97 percent of the vote.
In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against extremists, focused mainly on North Sinai, where the Daesh extremist group has a significant presence.
The authorities say some 650 suspected extremists and around 50 soldiers have been killed since.