January 28, 2022

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Hundreds of Moroccans have been stranded for two years in Siota and Melilla due to a health crisis

Closing the borders has put Moroccan border workers in an unbearable situation. They are asking the authorities of the two countries to resolve this.

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Hundreds of Moroccan workers have been stranded in Ciota and Melilla since March 2020, where they went to work every morning and returned at the end of the day – or the weekend. Home in Morocco. At the beginning of the health crisis the rabbits were prevented from closing the borders in Spanish lodges so that they could no longer be removed from their loved ones.

They do not have a residence permit, so they cannot legally live and live in the autonomous cities of Spain. So they find themselves in an impossible legal situation. The Spanish government will force them to return to Morocco, but without the possibility of repatriation, they will have to give up their jobs and the same income or stay in Spain until they return to normalcy.

Thousands of people live from the exchanges between Morocco and the Spanish territories. More or less illegal trade generated more than 1.5 billion euros in revenue for Ciota and Melila, but Moroccan tax authorities could lose between 360 360 and 40 540 million in annual tariffs.

Together, the Moroccan border guards in Chyota and Melilla have called for help, knowing that the reopening of the border is a diplomatic affair between the two countries. But until then, the signals are not promising. Morocco announced at the end of December 2021 that it would not resume its flights with Spain. “Threat” To its population due to non-compliance with health checks at airports.

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The serious diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco began with the reception of Polisario leader Brahim Khali at a Spanish hospital, which did not help reopen the border. Despite some further improvements, relations between the two countries have not been restored. Karima Benaz, Moroccan ambassador to Madrid, has been recalled to Rabat for consultation since May 2021 and has not yet returned to his post.