110 sub-Saharan migrants vault border wall at Melilla

More than 100 migrants vaulted wall at Melilla CETI Tuesday. Photo: Toñy Ramos / El País
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• Second mass attempt to scale wire-mesh fence at Melilla in last two weeks
• Increase in sub-Saharan migrants seeking entry to Spain via Melilla, Ceuta

More than 100 of a group of 300 sub-Saharan immigrants who early Tuesday attempted to scale the wire border fence at Spain’s north-African enclave of Melilla made it over the top and entered the CETI temporary holding facility for migrants and asylum seekers, where they will be processed for transfer to the Spanish mainland while awaiting formal deportation hearings.

According to news reports, guards at the Melilla CETI managed to deter two-thirds of the large organized group who tried en masse to vault the six-metres of mesh wire fence at the facility, but 110 made it over the fence with the help of metal hooks and nails they affix to their shoes for rapid climbing.

Tuesday’s mass entry into the Melilla CETI facility by sub-Saharan migrants is the second such occurrence in 2017, an earlier incident having taken place on 30th April when 30 migrants scaled the fence, taking advantage of CETI guards being distracted by a group of more than 100 inmates of the nearby Moroccan migrant camp of Gurugú who were marching toward a separate perimeter of the facility.

Both migrant rights activists, relief organizations and the government’s Interior Ministry have cited a growing number of sub-Saharan migrants and asylum seekers seeking entrance to Spain’s north-African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta so far this year, as well as an increase in the number of sub-Saharan ‘boat people’ attempting to make the crossing from Morocco to reach Andalucia.

► Read More in Spanish at El País, Europa Press and El Mundo …

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