After Gourougou and Boukhalef – destruction of migrants camps in Oujda

The Moroccan authorities continue their campaign of repression against migrant communitites in Northern Morocco, by destroying their infrastructure and deporting them in large numbers.

Screenshot from 2015-08-18 23:08:01
The “Fac” in Oujda (a city close to the Algerian border), an occupied part of the Mohamed I university, has served as a place of shelter for migrants for several years. Although the tent town was quite hierarchically controlled, e.g. by certain business structures, it was nevertheless an important part of the migrants’ infrastructure. People coming over the border from Algeria, people who had suffered injury and received treatment in the Oujda hospital, or people needing to take a break from the toil and terror of the forest camps – they could find some days of rest in the occupied Fac.
However, last Saturday around 3am in the morning, Moroccan security forces surrounded the camp, evicted and destroyed it, arresting around 200 people. Nearly half of them were set free after a short time, because they were minors or in possession of papers, the other half was rounded up and deported to cities in the centre and South of Morocco (e.g. Taza, Rabat), as a report by the AMDH details.

After the destruction of the migrants’ camps and squatted houses in Nador (February) and Tangier (July), this is now the third time this year the Moroccan state attacks crucial infrastructure of the migrant communities in Northern Morocco. A Yabiladi article claims the eviction happened due to concerns by the neighbouring population, just as rising tensions in Boukhalef between Moroccan and Subsaharan populations were used as a pretext for the evictions. However, tensions in the population may only be the outcome of racist policies, and intentional stereotyping in the media. Since February, and the end of the phoney regularisation process, Morocco has been sending a clear message of zero-tolerance of migrant camps in Northern Morocco. Thereby, it continues playing Europe’s watchdog, in exchange for financial support.

The destruction and deportation campaign has caused homelessness, abominal living conditions, violations of human rights, and a general deterioration of the situation.
This treatment of migrants all along the European borders (including Italy, Greece, Balkans) mirrors the intention of the EU to stop “foreigners” from finding any refugee on European soil, and to pursue a certain dignity of life. Europe and Morocco are directly responsible for the hell they are creating for tens of thousands of people.

It is time the Moroccan authorities take some responsibility for the mayhem they are creating (e.g. by providing housing) and that the European Union stops turning a blind eye to the hell it is paying for!


4 thoughts on “After Gourougou and Boukhalef – destruction of migrants camps in Oujda

  1. Pingback: Weer vluchtelingen-tentenkamp in Marokko vernietigd, dit keer in Oujda |

  2. Pingback: Eindrücke aus Melilla |

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