Yesterday (Wednesday) saw yet another incident at the Melilla border, with around 1,000 migrants attempting to storm the fence in a dawn assault. Some 400 made it across the towering, triple layer seven-metre high border fence into the Spanish territory.
The President of the city of Melilla, Juan Jose Imbroda, told Spanish public radio RNE about the incident, one of the largest crossings in a decade.
He said: “It was a very large number. An exterior part of the barrier was pushed over.”
Imbroda said the Moroccan authorities cooperated well with the Spanish border guard.
He said: “The Guardia Civil police deployed in large numbers but it was hard to stop it.”
Melilla has seen a spate of attempted crossings by Sub-Saharans, as it is, along with Ceuta, an entrance point for Europe.
Some are repatriated while others are allowed to remain in Spain, depending on the treaties signed with the countries of origin.
The immigrants are sent to government-run reception centres which are currently overflowing.
Imbroda said that the centre in Melilla is built to house 480 immigrants. However, it is now holding about 2,000, and is at its limit.
“Imagine the huge problem we will have this morning with 400 more on top of the 2,000 people already there,” he said.
Spain has called for more EU help to deal with what is being described as a crisis.