Melilia’s Incidents: Morocco’s Management Hailed Internationally – Expert

Morocco’s handling of the coordinated assaults led by illegal migrants during last year’s attempted incursion into Melilla was carried out in accordance with the law, which earned Morocco international recognition, said international law, migration law and human rights expert, Sabri Lhou. The verdicts issued by the criminal chambers of Nador’s Court of Appeal confirmed this recognition, after establishing the perpetrators’ responsibility of this attempted assault as well as their accomplices, Mr. Lhou told MAP. Morocco’s intervention is governed by the rule of law regardless of the perpetrator’s identity, even in the case of a vulnerable category such as migrants or refugees, he explained. “Protection is based on the principles of international and national laws, applied equitably and without discrimination between citizens and other categories”, he added. He termed the collective armed assault, carried out with premeditation outside the regulatory crossing points and without travel documents, as a “criminal act, as it goes against the law governing migrants’ entry and residence in Morocco”. The expert pointed out that the violence perpetrated, on the orders and instructions of parties hostile to Morocco, against security forces’ members, some of whom were seriously injured, constitutes a “crime against internal and external security of the State”, due to the assault seriousness and the malicious intentions of its instigators, who were seeking to tarnish Morocco’s image as a country that has opted for a humanitarian approach towards migrants by regularizing their legal situation and taking initiatives for their social, economic, cultural and educational integration. These malicious acts were also intended to tarnish Morocco’s image and create tensions with its African peers who, recognizing the Kingdom’s efforts in the field of migration, designated His Majesty King Mohammed VI Leader on migration issues during the 28th African Union (AU) Summit, said the expert. He attributed Morocco’s leadership on migration to its sustained security efforts and its hosting of the Marrakesh Conference, which adopted human and migrants’ rights in countries of origin as well as in host and transit countries as a priority, while encouraging safe, orderly and regular migration to avoid the disasters and tragedies caused by illegal migration.