Morocco Categorically Refuses to Host Reception Centers for Migrants


Rabat – Morocco’s Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi reaffirmed Morocco’s categorical refusal to house reception centers for migrants to the EU on Thursday.

After the government’s weekly council, El Khalfi said that the idea of creating reception centers for migrants is only an attempt to externalize Europe’s migration challenges.

He added that it would not be a solution to curb the challenges.

“We need a long-term solution and not an immediate economic solution.”

Read Also: Morocco Refuses to Host European Reception Centers for Migrants

El Khalfi also recalled Morocco’s strategy to integrate some migrants into Moroccan society by regularizing more than 50,000 migrants.

El Khalfi asserted that reception centers would run counter to human rights, and Morocco could not agree to be involved.

Commenting on immigration networks, El Khalfi said they have developed a new strategy, using for the first time a “go-fast boat.”

He said that the government has dismantled more than 80 networks of undocumented immigration and human trafficking.

“Therefore, there is no reason to accept the idea of creating reception centers in Moroccan soil,” El Khalfi concluded.

Read Also: Migration ‘Mafias’ Challenge Government with Free Rides to Europe

Morocco’s foreign affairs minister Nasser Bourita made similar remarks in June.

Bourita said that Morocco “rejects and has always rejected these kinds of methods for managing the issue of migration flows,” describing such solutions as easy and “counterproductive.”

Bourita repeated Morocco’s position in a recent interview with German news outlet Die Welt.

“Morocco is generally against all kinds of centers. It is part of our migration policy and it’s a position in the name of national sovereignty,” he said.

Bourita said that 3 percent of the world’s population have migrated, 80 percent of which have done so legally. “We are talking about only 20 percent of this 3 percent.”

The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Morocco to Spain more than tripled between 2016 and 1017.

Spain to repatriate 210,000 Moroccans

Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum reported on Thursday that the Spanish government is expected to repatriate 211,000 undocumented Moroccans from Spain.

The newspaper added that 6,000 of the undocumented migrants had arrived in Spain since January 2018.

The newspaper also said that Spanish officials are concerned about the number of Moroccans who are seeking asylum in Spain.The majority of people who are seeking asylum say they come from the Rif region in northern Morocco, which was rocked by protests called “Hirak Rif” in 2016 and 2017.

The Hirak Rif movement erupted between 2016 and 2017 after the death of a local fishmonger in the northern Al Hoceima province. The fishmonger was killed in a garbage track as he was trying to save his goods that authorities had confiscated.

The tragedy caused hundreds of protests and a government crackdown which resulted in the arrest of more than 400 protesters.