Morocco stopped 56,000 migrants from reaching Europe from January to August
More than 56,000 people were stopped by Moroccan authorities between January and August from attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe, a parliamentary report has said.
It claimed at last 12,000 refugees were reportedly saved from drowning in the crackdown against migration, Turkish news agency Anadolu said on Sunday.
The number of migrants intercepted from January to August was nearly five times the 12,231 halted in 2020. That year, according to Morocco, 150 trafficking networks were brought down.
Journeys across the Mediterranean from Morocco, Tunisia, and elsewhere in North Africa are extremely dangerous, and hundreds have lost their lives in the attempt.
The migrants, many of whom are from sub-Saharan Africa, make the voyage out of desperation as they try to build a future for themselves and their families.
Others are fleeing war and political persecution.
Melilla and Ceuta, Spanish territories located in Africa, are key to efforts to reach Europe. The enclaves are viewed as occupied by Rabat.
In June, tragedy struck when at least 23 migrants lost their lives as hundreds stormed the land border between Morocco and Melilla.
Earlier this month, around 300 people were detained by Morocco trying to enter Ceuta.
Rabat's migrant interception figures come as the UK on Sunday said over 40,000 people had reached its shores after navigating the English Channel.
This was a sharp spike from the 28,561 who made the crossing in 2021.