Battle tanks on the beach. This is how the autonomous city of Ceuta woke up on Tuesday, with greater vigilance in the face of the massive arrival of Moroccan migrants in the last hours; 5,000 people said last night that the government delegation and the Minister of the Interior spoke this morning about more than 6,000 people who entered the autonomous city by swimming along the sea dikes of El Tarajal and Benzú .
In the images accompanying these lines, you can see migrants on El Tarajal beach, many in the water, so as not to touch the land and thus avoid being immediately sent back to Morocco. Others were seen jumping from lifeboats and waiting on the rocks. When they encounter a police barrier, they simply surround it and descend to the side to reach the pier. Many more arrive unconscious and exhausted and require medical treatment.
On the other side of the gate, dozens of people gather, waiting for the moment to swim through the few meters that separate them from Spain. However, this morning the vigilance was greater. Although the morning passed without serious incidents, there were moments of tension in which some people threw stones at security forces on the Moroccan side.
On Monday, the thousands of people who managed to pass dug a space between the concrete blocks and the iron fences. And according to the Moroccans with whom LaSexta spoke, the Moroccan authorities are observing what happened without intervening. In fact, the cameras captured how the Moroccan auxiliary forces opened the doors of the gate and allowed dozens of people to enter Spanish territory.
Journalist Ignacio Cembrero explains it in Al Rojo Vivo. At the gates of Ceuta and Melilla there is a series of gates which are usually used by the forces of both countries. “These allowed, among other things, the warm returns of sub-Saharan Africans, as well as exchanges between the security forces. The two parties have the keys to the door,” he explains.
The Spanish government has mobilized the army, especially the Legion and regular units, to bolster the security forces that control the city. Several army units have already been deployed in the city with agents of the state security forces. The soldiers are responsible, along with the local police, the national police and the civil guard, to “regroup the dispersed immigrants” and to provide all the “logistical support” that the government delegation has requested.
The president of Ceuta Juan Jesús Vivas assured in “Al Rojo Vivo” that the situation is that of a “anxious and frightened population”. Thus, he called for “swift and vigorous state action” to increase, for example, police supplies throughout Ceuta to help deter migrants. He also believes that the Moroccan government is testing the Spanish government and says that “yesterday the perception we had was that there was no border”. He also hopes that diplomacy is sufficient to obtain the “immediate return” of these people.
For his part, Pedro Sánchez has the last minute of the morning, after the Council of Ministers, to announce that he will go this afternoon to Ceuta and Melilla and to show the firmness of the Spanish government. He declared that he would defend Spain’s borders “in the face of any dispute and with the necessary means”.
“Yesterday, the perception we had was that there was no border”
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska is also traveling, who reported that 2,700 of the 6,000 immigrants who entered Ceuta illegally in the past few hours have already been returned to Morocco. And he predicts that the returns will continue to “turn the tide.” As for some 1,500 minors who are immigrants, he explained that “the law, international treaties and our agreements with Morocco” will be applied for their protection. And it is that these minors cannot be grouped together in what are called “hot returns”.
Meeting with the Ambassador of Morocco
Foreign Minister Arancha González urgently summoned the Moroccan ambassador to discuss this migration crisis, a meeting that lasted about half an hour. Brussels has also spoken out to issue a warning to Morocco. “The Spanish borders are European borders”, underlines the European Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johansson.