Protecting Western Mediterranean Route: Morocco Leading Migration Talks in Africa

Written by | Friday, January 26th, 2018

Morocco has been a leading force behind finding a solution to the continent’s pressing issues including migration, sustainable development and peace and security. The next African summit that is to take place at the end of January will see Rabat present a new agenda on migration in Africa along with the Kingdom’s admission to African Union’s most important body – the Peace and Security Council.

The North African country has been emerging as a leader across the continent by giving example on how to address the issue of migration. Rabat has been promoting initiatives aimed at reaching a paradigm change in how migration is tackled in Africa. Its guiding principle is to depart from the security approach in addressing migration issue in favor of a humanistic approach focusing on opportunities and common management.

To consolidate views and common approached on migration across Africa, Morocco had discussed the issue earlier this month with South Africa, which had shown converging views on addressing migratory pressures following an approach of south-south cooperation and solidarity.
Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa use the Ceuta border fence to leave Morocco and arrive in the Spanish North African enclave. In March 2017, Morocco was faced with a sudden influx of migrants trying to reach Europe via Spain’s Ceuta. The number reached 1,000 people already in the first three months of last year compared to around 1,000 for the entire 2016.

It is estimated that between 25,000 and 40,000 sub-Saharan African migrants are living in Morocco at the moment, many of whom intend to continue on to Europe. Morocco has worked closely with Europe to regularize migrants there and block them from reaching Europe via Spain along the so-called Western Mediterranean route to Europe.

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