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Humanitarian, Diplomatic Crisis Between Spain and Morocco Deepens as Spain Expulses 1000s from Ceuta

HeadlineMay 19, 2021

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez traveled today to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the northern tip of Morocco, after 8,000 refugees entered the area earlier this week. Spain has sent troops to the enclave’s border and has already returned thousands of people, but groups say officials may be expelling people who legally should be processed as asylum seekers, including children, sick people or anyone who is not a Moroccan national. Many say Morocco recently loosened immigration controls in retaliation for Spain giving Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front, treatment for COVID-19. The Polisario movement is fighting to establish an independent state in Western Sahara, which was colonized by Spain in the 19th century and annexed by Morocco in 1975.

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