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”.

Turkey says Syria military operation to target Tal Rifaat, Manbij | Turkey-Syria Border News

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated Turkey will goal Kurdish armed teams in two northern Syrian cities in an upcoming military operation.

“We’re taking one other step in establishing a 30-kilometre safety zone alongside our southern border. We are going to clear up Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists”, he instructed a gathering of his ruling social gathering in parliament.

Erdogan stated Turkish forces would then proceed, “step-by-step, into different areas”.

The 2 cities, mendacity west of the Euphrates River, are managed by the Syrian Kurdish armed group, the Folks’s Safety Items (YPG).

Ankara considers the YPG a “terrorist” group and says it’s linked to home armed fighters belonging to the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK), which Turkey has additionally designated as a “terrorist” organisation. The PKK has waged an armed rebellion towards Turkey since 1984, and tens of hundreds of individuals have died within the battle.

The Turkish authorities has accused the YPG of attacking Turkish safety forces in Syria.

“We are going to see who helps the reliable safety operations carried out by Turkey and who tries to oppose them,” stated Erdogan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Turkey towards a brand new navy operation and urged Ankara to stay to cease-fire traces established in 2019.

“It’s one thing that we’d oppose,” Blinken instructed a joint information convention with NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg.

“The priority that we have now is that any new offensive would undermine regional stability (and) present malign actors with alternatives to take advantage of instability,” Blinken stated.

Turkey has launched three navy operations into northern Syria since 2016, seizing areas alongside the border in what it says is a bid to safe its frontier from threats from ISIL (ISIS) and the YPG.

The YPG-linked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) warned {that a} navy operation by Ankara would undermine efforts to fight fighters from the ISIS (ISIL) armed group in northeastern Syria.

“The SDF has been anticipating a attainable battle for some time now,” stated Farhad Shami, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led power.

“Within the occasion of an assault, we are going to pause our battle towards the Islamic State group [ISIL] and begin navy measures towards the Turkish invasion,” he instructed the AFP information company.

Increasing ‘protected zone’

Erdogan stated over the weekend that Turkey wouldn’t anticipate permission from america earlier than launching such an operation.

Erdogan on Tuesday instructed Russian President Vladimir Putin {that a} 2019 settlement signed between the 2 international locations allowed for the creation of a safety zone alongside the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Its creation is crucial,” Erdogan stated.

He has additionally opposed the latest purposes of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, over what Turkey considers their leniency towards Kurdish armed teams.

The president doubled down on his objections on Wednesday and stated Turkey wouldn’t change its stance on the Swedish and Finnish NATO utility with out seeing “binding paperwork” demonstrating a hardened method to these Ankara considers “terrorists”.

Each Manbij and Tal Rifaat host massive Kurdish populations and lie close to Turkey’s border with Syria.

Their seize would enable Erdogan to develop and deepen the so-called “protected zone” alongside the border the place Ankara hopes to resettle Syrian refugees.

However based on Rami Abdul Rahman, the pinnacle of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which screens violence in Syria, the Turkish operation may set off a brand new wave of displacements.

Greater than 100,000 individuals had been displaced from the city of Afrin alone throughout the 2018 Turkish operation, based on United Nations estimates. Most people went east to Tal Rifaat.