AU urges investigation of 20 African migrant deaths at Morocco-Spain border

Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Mahamat, has called for an immediate investigation into the deaths of more than 20 African migrants at the Morocco-Spain border.

Mahamat, in a statement, expressed “his deep concern and shock at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants attempting to cross an international border from Morocco into Spain.”

He said the violence led to the deaths of at least 23 people and injured too many more.

He called for an immediate investigation and reminded countries of their obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity and prioritise their safety and human rights while refraining from the use of excessive force.

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Local media reported that the deadly incident occurred in a stampede as more than 2,000 sub-Saharan migrants tried to breach the border between Morocco and Melilla on Friday.

The report said Moroccan security forces “intervened” when the migrants tried to scale or cut through a fence separating the Spanish city from Moroccan territory.

Spanish authorities in Melilla said most of the migrants were forced back except for 130 that managed to reach the enclave. (Xinhua/NAN)

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