Spanish/Moroccan border: Diaspora group laments mistreatments, deaths of African migrants

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The African Diaspora Congress (ADC), a coalition of African and African diaspora groups, has condemned the maltreatment and death of at least 23 African migrants at the Melilla-Morocco border.

Media reports (video and pictures), which went viral on June 24, showed that the African migrants were allegedly slaughtered by the combined forces of the Spanish and Moroccan security agents as they attempted to cross the border into Spain.

ADC, a coalition of African and African Diaspora groups worldwide, in a statement issued from Ohio, USA, called on the UN Human Rights Commission, the governments of Morocco and Spain as well as the African Union (AU) to investigate the matter.

The coalition group, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Prof. Apollos O Nwauwa, urged the UN and AU as a matter of urgency to ascertain the truth, make the report public, and hold the perpetrators accountable.

“African Diaspora and the global community cannot afford to stand aloof and watch the persistent mistreatment of peoples of African descent in different parts of the world.

“The recent reprehensible experiences of Africans at European borders as they fled the war in Ukraine serves as a reminder of the continuing disregard of the rights and dignity of black people globally.

“Despite the respect and benevolence accorded to refugees worldwide, African refugees/migrants continue to be treated with contempt and ignominy, especially by many nations in Europe and the Americas,’’ it stated.

According to the statement, the fact is often ignored that African migrants consist of different categories, including economic migrants looking for better life for themselves and their families, refugees fleeing from war-torn areas, and those displaced by terrorist activities.

“Why is it that when it comes to Africans, it is usually too easy to abandon the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1951 on Refugees, which outlines the rights of the displaced, as well as the legal obligations of nations and states to protect them?

“Yet, we are quick to condemn discrimination, mistreatments, and deaths when they occur elsewhere.

“If it is confirmed that Spain enabled the death of these migrants, the global community and organisations must ensure that the country is held responsible. The same goes for Morocco.”

It further stated that observers see Morocco as one of the more stable and progressive economies in Africa and, therefore, do not expect an African country such as Morocco to be implicated in this horrific act against fellow Africans.

“ADC demands for urgent investigations of this incident to expose the perpetrators and hold them accountable for this despicable act in line with international law and conventions.

“We urge Morocco and Spain as well as world organisations to give this matter the urgent attention that it deserves. Enough of these recurrent violations of human right and dignity when it comes to Africans,’’ it added.

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