UN calls for inquiry into Morocco-Spain border crossing deaths

By AT editor - 28 June 2022 at 11:08 pm
UN calls for inquiry into Morocco-Spain border crossing deaths

The United Nations has called for an investigation into the deaths of 23 African migrants who were killed on Friday while trying to cross from Morocco into the Spanish-held territories that border it.

Ravina Shamdasani, head of the UN human rights office, said it was the highest single-incident casualty toll in years, with 76 migrants and 140 Moroccan border guards also injured as migrants struggled to cross from Nador into the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.

“We have received reports of migrants beaten with batons, kicked, shoved, and attacked with stones by Moroccan officials as they tried to scale the barbed-wire fence, some six to 10 meters high, separating Morocco from Melilla,” the OHCHR chief said in her statement.

“We call on the two countries to ensure an effective and independent investigation is held as a first step towards establishing the circumstances of the deaths and injuries, any possible responsibilities and ensuring accountability as appropriate,” she added.

It was the latest tragedy in the years-long struggle to solve the Mediterranean migration crisis, which has seen large numbers of Africans seek to leave the continent through Libya and other North African nations.

Shamdasani also called on Morocco and Spain to work with the European Union, African Union and other governments and migration organizations to ensure safe migration pathways and protection from illegal returns to migrants’ countries of origin.

Image: United Nations

 

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