Homeless Migrants Persevering in Casablanca to Reach Europe

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Hundreds of Illegal African Migrants stranded in Casablanca

Hundreds of illegal sub-Saharan African migrants have flocked to the Casablanca bus station in Morocco with a determination to reach Europe. 25 year old Guinean Oumar, who has been living in Morocco illegally for the past 5 years, told AFP, “It is exhausting not to eat well, not to sleep under a roof, not to feel safe and to suffer from racism”.

The migrants have gathered in front of the Oulad Ziane station, on the outskirts of the city of 4.2 million inhabitants. Oumar and about fifty other young migrants, mostly from Guinea, spend their time doing nothing and often settling under tarpaulins as this is their only refuge from the police.

Unfortunately, the police still regularly evict the homeless migrants from their temporary residences. In mid-January, 6 migrants were arrested after violent clashes during an eviction. Bakary, an 18 year old Guinean who has been living in Oulad Ziane for three years, mentioned “It’s our sad reality, but nobody wants to observe it”.

The Maroc Hebdo magazine denounced the phenomena, highlighting it as a “social, security and political problem”. Noureddine Riadi, from the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) believes that the most vulnerables must be integrated into temporary reception centers.

Despite the difficulties and lack of administrational and associative guidance, the migrants still strive to reach Europe. Lamine, who has tried five times to cross in Spain from the northern Moroccan border city of Nador, says “We strive to continue and have hope, but optimism drops every day.” However, Brussels is providing aid of 500 million euros (544 million dollars) for the Moroccan government to combat migration.

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