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Why now this migratory crisis in Ceuta? Brahim Gali, the leader of the Polisario Front, the trigger

Madrid

Publication: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 11:59

Ceuta has seen (and is experiencing) the largest influx of immigrants in its history. Even during the Canary Islands crisis in the Canaries in 2006, such high figures had not been recorded: in just 24 hours, more than 5,000 people entered our country. In addition, many of them are minors.

The fact is that everything indicates that this arrival was not fortuitous. Relations between Spain and Morocco are currently going through one of their worst times; in large part, by a character foreign to the hundreds of families who risk their lives to gain access to Spanish territory: the secretary general of the Polisario Front, Brahim Gali.

The Polisario Front is the movement leading the national liberation of Western Sahara. Basically, they defend the self-determination of the Sahrawi population after the abandonment of Spain in 1976 and the occupation of Morocco. Now, why the anger of the Moroccan state against Spain?

The voltage trigger

Just a few weeks ago, on April 23, Gali was hospitalized in a center in La Rioja for coronavirus. This “humanitarian action”, in the words of Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya, must not have caused the arrival of immigrants. But it also coincided with the greater escalation of tension between Morocco and the Polisario Front, which last November broke a three-decade ceasefire.

The anger of our neighboring country was more than notorious. Once the news of the hospitalization was known, his Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement, said “deploring” the aid given by Spain to Gali. In addition, the Spanish ambassador in Rabat, Ricardo Díez-Hochleitner, was summoned “to ask him for the necessary explanations”, as indicated in the text of the Moroccan executive.

It should be recalled that to this day, the National Court maintains a case against the leader of the Polisario Front. More specifically, for “illegal detention, torture and crimes against humanity”. An argument in which Morocco also hid in its statement. Thus, according to Rabat, he is a man “wanted for serious war crimes and attacks against human rights”.

Migration denies the motives

The Spanish government, since then, has been warned. But from the executive itself, they did not expect “in any case” what happened on Monday. In this sense, the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of the Government, José Luis Escrivá, attributes the migration crisis to the “closure of borders and additional poverty” due to the pandemic. However, the reality is that all of these immigrants crossed the border due to the passivity of the Moroccan authorities. And, when asked about it, the minister sends a clear message.

“I ask for the application of the return agreements, which are very clear and have already been activated since yesterday afternoon,” Escrivá stressed in an interview with Cadena Cope on Tuesday. Even so, from the executive, they maintain their position, and try to avoid stoking the fire in the relationship with their neighbors: “The Moroccan authorities tell us that it has nothing to do with it, it doesn’t there is no relation between one thing and another, I have to believe them. »Insists the president.

At the moment, as we said, relations are still strained. And they have been for a considerable time: we have to go back to December 2020 to find another of the key moments. Especially, the 20th: when the United States chose to recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara.

Given this, Rabat was looking for a response from Spain, knowing it was a golden opportunity to speak out. However, the government has remained in its position, which coincides with that of the UN, which seeks a solution agreed between the two parties.

In any case, with regard to the current crisis in the autonomous city of Ceuta, the authorities are working to stabilize the situation. An unprecedented operation that led the army to deploy its tanks on the beach of El Tarajal, in the territory of Ceutí. In the waters, people are still swimming, to the detriment of what can happen to the returns.

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