Morocco seeking help from Europe on migrant

Associated Press

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco's official human rights agency is calling on the EU to pay for efforts to integrate illegals, saying that the North African country's treatment of migrants comes at Europe's behest.

Morocco is a major transit point for immigrants from all over Africa seeking a better life in Europe, whether by crossing the Mediterranean or trying to storm the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast. Rights groups have repeatedly criticized the treatment of migrants at the hands of security forces, describing beatings, arbitrary arrests, abuse and expulsions across desert borders without water.

The government's National Council for Human Rights recommended in a report Monday that the country integrate some migrants into society, with jobs, schooling and a legal status. The council said European countries should "work actively for the success of this operation and mobilize the human and financial resources necessary to put in place a police of integrating migrants."

Acknowledging there had been abuses, the council noted that Europe had pushed Morocco to stem the tide of illegal immigration, resulting in "a real success as witnessed by the figures for arrest and numerous declarations by satisfaction by different European countries."

In just the last month, Moroccan security forces have stepped up their campaign against those camped out in a forest outside the Melilla, where every few months hundreds of illegal migrants attempt to storm the fences surrounding the city.

The report received key backing from the Moroccan king, who issued a statement agreeing to its recommendations.

View Comments (52)