13:25 GMT +323 March 2017
    Sub-Saharan migrants sit on a metal fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla

    A Thousand Migrants Storm Spain Border Fence, Clash with Police (VIDEO)

    © AP Photo/ Santi Palacios
    Get short URL

    More than 1,000 sub-Saharan African migrants tried to begin 2017 in Spain by attempting to scale the 20-foot border fence surrounding one of the country's enclaves in Morocco.

    The migrants, numbering 1,100 according to Spanish authorities, attempted to cross into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in the early hours of January 1 in a manner described as "extremely violent and organized," Al Jazeera reports, citing a statement by the Spanish government representative in Ceuta.

    Five Spanish and 50 Moroccan officers were hurt engaging with the migrants, who tried "to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters and large stones with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and [Spanish police]," the Ceuta authorities said.

    Ten of the Moroccan officers suffered serious injuries, the country's Interior Ministry reported.

    Dozens reached the top of the barbed-wire fence that separates Africa from Europe before they were lifted down by cranes, Reuters reports. Two migrants were allowed to stay in Spanish territory to be treated for injuries; the rest were turned back.

    ​The Interior Ministry of Morocco estimated that 800 migrants had tried to breach the fence and that all had been arrested, according to AP.

    "From now on those making such attempts will be presented before the competent judicial authorities who will decree their expulsion from the kingdom or heavier penalties, according the gravity of the act," Morocco's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

    Heavier penalties for trying to enter Europe are unlikely to quell the criticism lobbed by human rights groups at Spain for immediately turning migrants around, which they say denies the migrants the chance to properly claim asylum. Ceuta and the nearby Spanish enclave of Melilla are Europe's only land borders with Africa. 

    On December 9, more than 400 migrants attempted a similar breach of the fence. Migrants also attempt to sail or swim to Europe: also on January 1, Spain's maritime rescue service rescued 52 migrants near Malaga. They were trying to reach the country's southern coast in a small boat.

    In the past week, at least two other individuals were arrested for attempting to smuggle migrants into Ceuta or from the enclave to the Spanish mainland.

    Even last year, Morocco was being called "the forgotten front line" of Europe's migrant crisis.

    "The preoccupation of every migrant is how to get out of Morocco," migrant Sy Mamadou Lamine told Irin News. Lamine had been a teacher in Guinea. "It's not a country where an immigrant can earn money to help his family [at home]. It's a country where young Moroccans don't have jobs, much less us."


    Spain Backs NATO-Russia Dialogue to Manage Common Risks – Foreign Minister
    Romania, Morocco Have Largest Expat Prison Populations in EU Jails - Study
    Voting Paradox: Moderate Islamists Win Parliamentary Elections in Morocco
    migrant, migrant boat, border fence, border, Ceuta, Melilla, Spain, Morocco
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      Countries need to stop playing with these so-called migrants and make it so they don't want to enter the EU, ever.
    • avatar
      The moment they crossed that fence, they were invaders. Where I come from, we shoot all trespassers and violate all survivors. It is the law of the west...
    • NATOisEVILin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, But the liberal globalist feminists don't want borders. They want the poor lonely males aged 20-30 yo to move freely to spread their hate and violence all over Europe.
    • Zoanthropy
      if people from a external country storm a border, it's called an INVASION, they are not migrants.
    • Hermesin reply toNATOisEVIL(Show commentHide comment)
      happy new year. Also to the rest of the gang.
      We really have to wonder what happened to the european people. Last week Sputnik reported on an experiment that started after the second world war and that aimed at social-engineering europeans into a selfdestructing entity. I always suspected something like that to be going on since both parties in the socalled cold war seemed to have a specific interest in whiping out the european tribes. Spreading feminism surely helped a lot and so did the communist/marxist mantra spread by european socialists and communists and the like.
      At the same time there were the efforts of nato and eu to exterminate the ethnic population of europe and whipe every trace of them from the face of the earth. In short, over the past decades we have been brainwashed and we need to be deprogrammed to find our way to logic again. We also need to recognize that it's genocide that is going on right now and we need to identify the organizers and the leaders and put them on trial. The usefull idiots can perhaps be reprogrammed.
      This girl has a very intelligent message for all of us.
    • Adrienne Adonis
      Spain has its own problems to deal with ! ....... These Moroccan immigrants are not Spain's problems to deal with. Spain already has a problem with employment for their own citizens. that is why trump shut the borders from these people. Because when they don't get their way they act in humane
    Show new comments (0)