Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Tensions in Tangiers after migrants die in police raids  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 20/12/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) In the poor Tangiers suburb of Boukhalef, cramped apartment blocks house hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, but tragedy has turned it into a flashpoint for racial tensions in Morocco.

During a police raid earlier this month, a young Cameroonian called Cedric was chased onto the roof of one of the four-storey buildings and then fell to his death.

It was the second such death in two months, after a Senegalese man fell from his fourth-floor flat in October during another police raid.

The raids came despite a promise from the government of a new immigration policy to address concerns expressed by King Mohamed VI about the treatment of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

After the second incident, angry fellow migrants carried the Cameroonian's body through Boukhalef's streets protesting police "crimes" against their ranks.

Four days later, some 100 Moroccan residents staged a counter-demonstration under the gaze of police, chanting: "We are not racist, but we don't want blacks living here."

A former flatmate of Cedric, another Carmeroonian named Telly, said he and his friends were surprised and upset by the rising hostility.

"It's the first time this has happened. And we are really afraid now because we don't know what to expect," the 23-year-old said.

"We feel the police are trying to chase us out of Tangiers," a city that lies only a short boat trip from the southern tip of Spain.

Boubker el-Khamlichi of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights blasted the treatment of the migrants as "savage". He charged that it was a deliberate bid -- with backing from Europe -- to deter them from attempting the crossing.

"It's a policy. It really is a way of pressuring the migrants to leave voluntarily. Europe is giving money to Morocco to play the role of policeman," Khamlichi said.

"We don't know whether or not Cedric was thrown by the police. But the reality is, there have been three deaths as a result of raids by the police. They are responsible."

Tangiers police chief Abdellah Belahfid declined to comment on Cedric's death, saying the public prosecutor had ordered an inquiry.

But he denied his force was bowing to any European pressure to stop the flow of illegal migrants.

"The raids are a part of routine police operations, because among the immigrants there are networks involved in the trafficking of hard drugs," Belahfid told AFP.

In November, the government said that an "exceptional operation" would take place in the new year to sort out the status of some of the tens of thousands of sub-Saharans residing illegally in Morocco.

But the country is clearly struggling to cope with the tide of migrants hoping for a better life in Europe, most of whom arrive in Morocco through neighbouring Algeria.

In the first week of December alone, more than 200 migrants were arrested as they boarded boats along the Tangiers coast in their bid to reach Spanish soil, state media reported.

Rights activists say that to thwart attempted crossings, authorities have rounded up hundreds of migrants, sometimes violently, and bussed them hundreds of kilometres (miles) farther south to Rabat or Casablanca.

On a single day last week, 200 migrants picked up from Tangiers or nearby Nador were dumped on the streets of the capital Rabat, said Hicham Rachidi, founder of migrant support group GADEM.

Some had serious injuries sustained during the police operations, he told AFP.

"They drop them off next to the police headquarters, and tell them to go and ask the NGOs for help."

Rachidi called for urgent implementation of the government's promised immigration changes.

"We need a new approach, a new mentality and new officials, or a retraining of the officials who applied the old policies," he said.

"There are 65,000 members of the auxiliary forces. When you leave people like that to just round up illegal immigrants, without training, guidance or procedures, it's difficult to avoid abuses."

Other incidents have fuelled the fears of sub-Saharan migrants. Activists say a Congolese resident of Tangiers died in July after a police officer pushed him from a bus as he was being deported to the Algerian border.

And in August a Senegalese man was stabbed to death at the central bus station in Rabat.

In Boukhalef, meanwhile, dozens of migrants -- unable to work without any official status -- bide their time in the streets under the suspicious gaze of Moroccan residents.

"I left my country because of dictatorship," says Ibrahima, 36, from Gambia.

"For more than a year I have been waiting for refugee status. Without it, how can I survive?"

"If I go and ask for a job on that building site, they want to see my residency permit," he adds, pointing to a mosque under construction across the street.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Apr 30 2016 - Qatar's MPHC net profit up 83 percent in Q1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co. posted net profit of USD 58.28mn for the first quarter of this year, an increase of 83 percent.Furthermore, the increase was attributed to growth sales ...

 Apr 30 2016 - Aaml Co. net profit jumps 33.7 percent in Q1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Aamal firm, one of the GCC's fastest growing firms, proclaimed net profit of USD 42.18mn for Q1 of this year, a jump of 33.7 percent.Additionally, group profit were up 6.9 percent to USD ...

 Apr 30 2016 - Egypt, UAE to discuss relations in real estate projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN)Egypt and UAE will discuss real estate investment projects that UAE seeks to participate in.Moreover, these projects involve the New Administrative Capital, as well as housing projects in ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Omani power firm to build vital power facilityMENAFN
(MENAFN) Omani Musandam Power Company SAOC (MPC) will construct the Musandam Independent Power Plant (Musandam IPP) in the Musandam Governorate.As a high level official stated, the firm's strategy ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Saudi, French bilateral trade to reach USD13.6bMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum taking place in Saudi Arabia delivers the finest stage to advance parts of mutual collaboration in many new areas.The two countries enjoy great ...

 Apr 29 2016 - KSA continues to prioritize low spendingMENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi plans to return unspent money which was allocated in this year's budget for the purpose of cutting waste as state revenues weakens due to low oil prices.In the recent past, government ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- El Jaish aim to dethrone LekhwiyaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Lekhwiya players lift the Qatar Cup trophy in this May 2 2015 file picture. Doha: El Jaish will be looking for a repeat of their 2014 Qatar Cup success when they ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar Cup Trophy Tour stops at OoredooThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: The Qatar Cup tour made its final stop at Ooredoo the official telecom partner of the Qatar Cup 2016. Staff and management took an opportunity to take photos and ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Al Rayyan rally to win Qatar Cup titleThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al Rayyan SC players and officials celebrate while receiving the Qatar Cup after they beat El Jaish SC 21-25 25-18 25-17 32-34 18-16 in the final played at Ali Bin Hamad Al ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Emir Cup: Al Kharaitiyat Al Gharafa earn thrilling wins to advanceThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al Sailiya’s Abdurahman Al Harazi (left) celebrates after scoring the first goal for his team during their Emir Cup third round match against Al Wakrah SC at Al Arabi ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Steinmeier doubts Trump's 'America first' planThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gestures during a joint press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva (not seen) after their meeting ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Met predicts a hot day with some cloudsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: The weather forecast for Qatar valid until 6pm Thursday inshore will be hot during the day with some clouds offshore will be hazy to misty at places and partly ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar key to boosting Turkey-GCC tiesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Turkey’s Prime Minister Dr Ahmet Davutoglu and his delegation at the Emiri Diwan yesterday. They discussed relations ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Emir welcomes King Mohammed of MoroccoThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani welcomes King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco and his delegation at Hamad International Airport. Doha: Emir H H Sheikh ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar eyes 'best of the best' turf for 2022The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A worker tends to grass being grown at a research and development centre in Murakh to find the best playing surface for FIFA 2022 yesterday. Doha: Watching grass grow ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar discusses WTD eventsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) yesterday held a meeting with UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to discuss Qatar’s preparations to host World Tourism Day 2017. ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Premier meets EU Counterterrorism CoordinatorThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday met European Union Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- QU University of Illinois sign dealThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: An agreement signed between Qatar University College of Medicine (QU-CMED) and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has established ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- AZF Ramadan Sports Festival from June 10The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has added cricket and rugby to its annual Ramadan Sports Festival which starts on June 10. The two-week event will end on June 24 (5-19 ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- First phase of mapping genetic code of citizens in final stageThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Fazeena Saleem DOHA: The initial phase of an initiative to map the genetic code of citizens for better diagnoses and treatment of diseases in Qatar has reached the ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help