Interior indicates that in this period 1,500 human trafficking networks have been dismantled, composed of both Moroccans and foreigners

Morocco rescues 2,000 Atlantic migrants in 2 months, 85% sub-Saharan


The Moroccan authorities have rescued in the last two months from the waters of southern Morocco and Western Sahara 2,000 migrants from boats heading to the Spanish Canary Islands, 85% of them from sub-Saharan countries, according to data provided to EFE by the Ministry of the Interior.  

The Moroccan ministry says that, thanks to the monitoring of the beaches, "the number of attempts at irregular migration to Europe has been reduced," especially in the Atlantic area, where it says that "the rate of decline reached 36% this year" compared to the previous one.  

Morocco, Interior explains, detects a special pressure in that area of southern Morocco and the Sahara, from where not only boats depart from the coasts, but numerous boats from countries such as Mauritania or Senegal transit through its waters in their attempt to reach the Spanish islands.  

In the last week, the Moroccan authorities rescued 235 people from Atlantic waters who were transferred to the town of Dakhla, in Western Sahara, according to maritime rescue sources. Interior data show that, of the 2,000 people rescued in the last two months in that area, only about 300 were Moroccans.  

According to Interior, the migratory pressure could increase with the worsening of the socio-economic and security conditions prevailing in the Sahel region, in addition to the negative effects of climate change and the COVID pandemic.   

The data show that the Moroccan authorities have rescued 4,700 people from Atlantic and Mediterranean waters so far this year, the other emigration route to Spain from the Moroccan coasts.

In the last five years, Morocco has thwarted almost 370,000 emigration attempts (people who tried to emigrate) and rescued 90,000 migrants from the sea thanks, Interior insists, "to the enormous effort made by the Moroccan authorities in monitoring the beaches."  

"The Moroccan security services have obtained very positive results in reducing the activities of criminal networks active in the field of migrant smuggling (...), and it should be noted that Morocco cannot withstand the migratory pressure directed towards Europe on its own," Interior stresses.  

It also indicates that Morocco has developed a legal arsenal to control the use of inflatable boats and jet skis - they are usually used to enter the waters of Ceuta and Melilla-, of which it carries a traceability of the owner, and asks the countries on the other side of the Mediterranean to impose the same restrictions on these marine environments.  

Most of these vessels confiscated for being used in irregular migration operations come from countries in the northern Mediterranean, says Moroccan Interior without naming any in particular. Until the middle of this year, Morocco has seized about 400 means of maritime transport used for human trafficking.  

According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, 12,192 people arrived in Spain by sea from January 1 to June 30, 4.17% less than in 2022. Of these, 4,865 did so by the Mediterranean route (29.2% more) and 7,213 by the Atlantic (18.5% less).