Migrants in front of a reception center of the Spanish enclave in Morocco of Melilla, February 24, 2014
The corpses of „nearly twenty“ migrants of sub-Saharan origin were rescued at sea on Saturday by Moroccan patrols after being spotted from a Spanish ship, a spokesman for the Spanish enclave prefecture said Sunday. from Melilla.
The migrants were seen by the crew of the ferry Sorolla, who alerted the rescue services of both countries, said the spokeswoman, adding that the crew had „estimated at twenty“ the corpses then recovered by relief Moroccans in their territorial waters. Morocco has not yet released its death toll.
A little later in the evening, a patrol of the Civil Guard discovered the body of another migrant, who was brought back to Melilla, a Spanish enclave in northern Morocco, facing the Spanish coast and not far from the Algerian border. .
According to the prefecture of Melilla, a helicopter of the Civil Guard was still participating Sunday morning in research, in support of Moroccan patrols.
This discovery comes as the „Spanish“ route is increasingly used by Sub-Saharan migrants trying to reach Europe.
According to the latest assessment of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Spain is the second entry point with 1,279 arrivals by sea since the beginning of the year, after Italy (4,256).
In total, since the beginning of the year, 243 people have disappeared or died in the Mediterranean Sea, according to this report that does not include the group discovered Saturday.
In 2017, Spain was the third gateway to Europe for migrants, via the Mediterranean, after Italy and Greece. Last year, arrivals by sea tripled compared to 2016, reaching a total of 22,900 migrants, according to Frontex, the European border agency. More than 200 died or disappeared during the crossing.