Morocco catches 83 illegal Senegalese immigrants

Moroccan authorities on Monday deported 83 Senegalese migrants trying to reach Europe illegally, the Interior Ministry said. The migrants were rounded up overnight and sent by airplane from Dakhla in the western Sahara back to Senegal, the ministry said in a statement. The operation was conducted with Senegalese authorities.

Last year, Morocco deported hundreds of illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa trying to reach two Spanish enclaves in the north that would give them a foothold in Europe. Migrants frequently use this North African kingdom as a transit point on their journeys north.

"We must work together in partnership to find appropriate answers to the migratory phenomenon," said Youssef Amrani, an official with the Moroccan Foreign Ministry. "We will try to find a balance between the security dimensions and development."

Morocco will host an international conference in July to find ways to defuse the immigration crisis, which has provoked sharp exchanges between Morocco and Algeria, and alarmed European Union officials. An EU report last year estimated that about 30,000 people were waiting in Algeria and Morocco to enter Europe illegally and chided member governments for ignoring Morocco's calls for assistance, reports the AP.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team