Hundreds of Migrants Try to Storm Another Spanish North African Enclave

Moroccan security forces surround migrants who were planning on breaching the border fence of the Spanish exclave of Ceuta bordering Morocco on April 13, 2021. - Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union's only land borders with Africa, making then popular entry points for …

Just days after thousands of migrants stormed the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta, hundreds attempted to cross into Spain’s other territory, Melilla.

Hundred of migrants, reportedly Moroccan nationals, attempted to jump the fence between Melilla and Morocco on Thursday night and into Friday morning.

According to a report from the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, the attempts came from several different parts of the border area, including the region from Farkhana to Mariouari.

As of Friday morning, authorities did not specify the number of migrants who had managed to cross into Melilla successfully, but the newspaper claims that witnesses had seen dozens of migrants make it across the border.

The crossing is also allegedly the first time that Moroccan nationals have tried to illegally cross into Melilla as previously it was only sub-Saharan African migrants that had attempted to scale the fence into the Spanish enclave, which would put the migrants in European Union territory and subject to the bloc’s asylum application rights and rules.

In addition to Spanish authorities, Moroccan security forces also attempted to stop migrants from crossing the border illegally and were reportedly still stopping migrants in the early morning hours of Friday.

Earlier this week, the Spanish enclave of Ceuta saw at least 8,000 migrants cross into the enclave from Morocco in the span of just two days — with La Vanguardia estimating the figure is even higher, at 10,000 — a record number of arrivals for such a short period.

The Spanish government labelled the incident a crisis, with the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez vowing to restore order in the city earlier this week.

Prime Minister Sanchez visited Ceuta later this week but was met with anger from locals who shouted “son of a whore!” as he passed them by in his car.

By contrast, the lead of Spain’s populist VOX party, Santiago Abascal, was allegedly greeted with cheers as he visited the city and gave a speech demanding the Spanish army be deployed to stop the crisis.

The migrant crisis has raised tensions between Spain and Morocco, which were already coming into conflict over the fact that Spain had given medical treatment to the Western Sahara independence movement leader.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.