Morocco’s Royal Navy Rescues 167 Would-Be Irregular Migrants

Rabat – Morocco’s Royal Navy has rescued 167 people that were trying to illegally migrate to Europe. Moroccan coastguards found the migrants in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic between January 28 and February 7, 2023.

The 167 irregular migrants were of different nationalities, including sub-Saharan, Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) quoted a military source as saying.

The source added that the migrants made the life-threatening journey to reach Europe on inflatable boats, makeshift boats, and kayaks. Some even resorted to swimming, making their migration attempt even more dangerous.

Coastguards provided the rescued migrants with first aid on board the Royal Navy Units. The migrants were later safely taken to the nearest Moroccan ports.

The Moroccan navy handed all migrants to the Royal Gendarmerie services as part of the standard administrative procedure.

The rescue operation is part of the North African country’s efforts to tackle irregular migration attempts and block human trafficking networks.

Morocco’s Royal Navy conducted similar operations between December 24, 2023, and January 4, 2023, rescuing 270 people who attempted to irregularly migrate to Europe.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) announced that police arrested more than 32,700 people, 28,146 of whom were foreigners, who attempted to illegally migrate to Europe in 2022.

Tackling irregular migration is one of the areas of cooperation that Morocco and Spain vowed to partner in. In this regard, the European country expressed its satisfaction with Morocco’s contribution to managing irregular migration.

“Of all the migratory routes to Europe, the only one that has diminished is that from Morocco to Spain,” said Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in January.

In addition to working hand in hand to fight irregular migration, the two countries have expressed their commitment to boost cooperation in several other sectors. 

The move was initiated in March of last year after Spain endorsed Morocco’s Autonomy Plan as the most credible solution to end the Sahara dispute, giving Morocco-Spain bilateral ties a new breath.

Source: Morocco World News

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