Moroccan authorities have dismantled 366,000 irregular migration attempts in the last five years

Morocco successfully combats illegal migration

REUTERS/JON NAZCA - Migrantes corren hacia la valla que separa Marruecos de España
REUTERS/JON NAZCA - Migrants run towards the fence separating Morocco from Spain

According to Morocco World News, new data from the Moroccan Interior Ministry states that 366,000 irregular migration attempts to Europe have been dismantled in the last five years. Last year alone, more than 70,000 were recorded.

These figures also include the rescue of more than 90,000 irregular migrants during the same period. More than 12,000 were rescued from the sea in 2022, and during May 2023, the rescue of 3,150 migrants was recorded.

Criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling are the main perpetrator of the irregular flow of migrants. So far this year, an estimated 117 criminal networks involved in people smuggling have been dismantled; last year, authorities dismantled 290 operations. Over the past five years, 1,500 operations have been dismantled, according to data published by the Moroccan Ministry of Interior.

PHOTO/MINISTERIO DEL INTERIOR - Reunión en Rabat entre los ministros del Interior español y marroquí junto con la comisaria europea Johansson
PHOTO/MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR - Meeting in Rabat between the Spanish and Moroccan interior ministers and European Commissioner Johansson

The efforts of the Moroccan Interior Ministry authorities in intercepting migrants have increased in the areas of Ceuta and Melilla, the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) states that, "as for the attempted assaults on Ceuta and Melilla, which have been repulsed by the Moroccan authorities, figures from the Interior Ministry show that around a hundred attempts have been aborted in the last five years, involving some 17,500 assailants. In 2022 alone, 16 attempts were made to attack the fences in Ceuta and Melilla, compared to only one attempt in the last five months of 2023, thanks to the reinforcement of measures to combat irregular migration", according to the same source. 

Irregular migration to Europe from Morocco is mainly composed of young men from sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, the Moroccan government has implemented several cooperation agreements on the irregular flow of migrants with the European Union, and Spain in particular. In March this year, Morocco signed a 624 million euro agreement with the EU, of which 152 million euros were planned to address irregular migration and reinforce Morocco's border management actions in the fight against smuggling networks. 

In May, the Spanish Interior Minister praised cooperation with Morocco in this area, highlighting the reduction of irregular migrants. In 2023, the percentage of irregular migrants flowing into Spain has been reduced by 36% overall, operations carried out at the fences of Spanish enclaves have been reduced by 75%, and arrivals to the coasts of the Canary Islands by 51%, mainly due to Moroccan border control efforts.

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