In mid-November 2020, after an exchange of fire in the southern border area of Western Sahara with Mauritania between the Moroccan army and Polisario Front troops, the Sahrawis accused Morocco of having broken the ceasefire and having provoked the restart of the armed conflict.
Since then there have been small military clashes between the two parties, in which an unknown number of people have been killed, with little independent data on the fighting or casualties, Amnesty notes.
In March 2022, the King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, released a letter in which the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, indicated that “the most serious, credible and realistic basis for resolving this” dispute is to maintain Morocco’s autonomy. on Western Sahara.
Morocco, located at the northwestern tip of Africa, is a transit country for many emigration candidates seeking to reach Europe from its Atlantic or Mediterranean shores. Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish enclaves, are the only land borders between the European Union and Africa.
The last great tragedy on this border happened just in the middle of that year. On June 24, about 2,000 emigrants, mostly from Sudan, a very poor country devastated by conflicts, tried to cross the border that separates Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Melilla.