AU expresses ‘deep shock’ over deaths at Spain-Morocco border | African Union News

The lethal crossing was the primary since Spain and Morocco mended relations earlier this yr after a diplomatic spat.

The African Union chief has expressed “deep shock” over the loss of life of almost two dozen folks whereas making an attempt to interrupt by means of a border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla and referred to as for a right away investigation into the matter.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Fee stated on Monday that he was shocked on the “degrading therapy of African migrants”.

“I specific my deep shock and concern on the violent and degrading therapy of African migrants trying to cross a global border from #Morocco into #Spain, with the following violence resulting in the deaths of not less than 23 folks and accidents to many extra,” Mahamat stated in a tweet.

Morocco’s inside ministry stated in an announcement that 23 folks died on Friday because of what it described as a “stampede” after about 2,000 refugees and migrants tried to climb the metallic border fence.

The Moroccan authorities stated that 140 cops have been additionally wounded within the violence.

Mahamat referred to as for “a right away investigation into the matter and remind all nations of their obligations underneath worldwide regulation to deal with all migrants with dignity and to prioritize their security and human rights, whereas refraining from the usage of extreme pressure.”

Many asylum seekers have been seen mendacity on the bottom, some wounded, in images that have been broadly shared on social media. Activists have referred to as their therapy “merciless, inhuman and degrading”.

Friday’s incident had the best loss of life toll in years of such makes an attempt to cross the frontier at Melilla, a standard crossing level for refugees and migrants looking for a greater life in Europe.

Melilla and Ceuta are the European Union’s solely land borders with Africa and are protected by fences fortified with barbed wire and surveillance cameras.

The lethal crossing was the primary since Spain and Morocco mended relations earlier this year, after a spat triggered by Rabat laying declare to the disputed area of Western Sahara.

On Sunday, the Moroccan Affiliation for Human Rights (AMDH) printed a picture exhibiting authorities from the North African nation digging about 20 graves, which the organisation says have been meant for the asylum seekers who died within the crossing.

Final week, a number of non-governmental organisations launched a joint assertion demanding a probe into the therapy of refugees and migrants as they tried to cross the border. The AMDH specifically pleaded in opposition to burying the our bodies with out an investigation.

In the meantime, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has applauded Spanish and Moroccan collaboration on the border, saying the mass migration try was “effectively resolved”. Sanchez additionally referred to as the incident “an assault on the territorial integrity of our nation in a violent method”.

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