African migrants stand in their hiding place in the Moroccan mountains near the city of Tangier. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal
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African emigrants are defying a campaign by Morocco intended to keep them away from land and sea crossings to Spain, which has now become the main entry point to Europe for migrants and refugees following crackdowns elsewhere. Moroccan police conduct regular raids of areas popular with people from elsewhere in Africa and have bused thousands to the other end of the country since 800 people stormed a fence to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco in July.The vast majority come via Morocco, which foiled a further 54,000 illegal migration attempts by August, Khalid Zerouali, migration and border control director at the Interior Ministry, told Reuters.Zerouali said Morocco was under enormous pressure.Human rights groups accused Morocco of busing people into the desert.The European Commission promised more money to help Spain and Morocco cope last month, but declined to give a figure, saying funds were limited.In the Tangier district of Branes where many sub-Saharan Africans live, Aissatou Barry, who has been in Morocco for eight years after fleeing Ivory Coast, said police raided her house at 5 a.m. on Aug. 9 .Barry, who founded the Ponts Solidaires association to help migrants integrate in Morocco and give up the idea of the risky sea crossing, said she felt humiliated.
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