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€12 million more for Ceuta's border fence to "fulfil its purpose"
18.9.17
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The Spanish interior minister, Juan Iganacio Zoido, announced on 12 September that a further €12 million will go to the border fence in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in north Africa bordering Morocco, as the fence does not currently "fulfil its purpose".

Zoido said that the fence needs reinforcing because over the last year there has been an increase of 34% in the number of people arriving in Ceuta. Some 8,956 people have apparently tried to enter Spanish territory by climbing over the razor-wire topped fence, compared to 613 in the previous year.

The money will go towards more thermal vision cameras, reconstructing damaged or deterioated sections of the fence and eliminating "blind spots".

Human rights organisations have long denounced the situation at the borders between Morocco and Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish enclaves. Many people attempt to enter Spanish territory by climbing the fences or by boat; offices at the border set up for receiving asylum claims are inaccesible to sub-Saharan African migrants.

The number of people arriving in Spain by irregular means has increased sharply:

"Spain is witnessing the largest wave of arrivals since the beginning of the year. Some 2,600 migrants arrived in July (sea and land), which is a jump of more than four times on July 2016 numbers. So far in 2017, more migrants have arrived to Spain than in all of 2016. The total is at 9,738 until now, according to data released by the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR."

It was recently reported that seven women died after the boat they were travelling in was prevented from arriving on Spanish soil by Spain's Guardia Civil and their boat capsized after subsequent interception by Moroccan police.

Millions of euros have already been spent on Spain's border fences and other security equipment in Ceuta and Melilla, with a significant portion of the funds coming from the EU, as detailed in Market Forces (see section 2.3), a new report by Statewatch and Transnational Institute.

Sources

Zoido destinará 12 millones a la valla de Ceuta porque "no cumple su finalidad" (Publico, 12 September 2017)

Surge in migrant arrivals in Spain (Deutsche Welle, 18 August 2017)

Siete mujeres mueren después de que la Guardia Civil "bloquease" su patera, según supervivientes (eldiario.es, 2 September 2017)

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