SPAIN has announced a €2.3 million plan to fortify the borders separating Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco, hoping to prevent further migration attempts into its north African territories.
The interior minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, said reinforcements will be added in the coming weeks, including a new six metre fence designed to ‘impede anyone from climbing’.
An additional 20 agents will be deployed in Ceuta as well as a helicopter to help with the ‘dissuasion and detection’ of migrants. While three watch towers will be built in Melilla, equipped with heat-sensitive cameras.
The Spanish government is currently under pressure from EU officials who have criticised the country’s response to desperate Africans trying to cross the border in search of a better life.
Last month border police were accused of firing rubber bullets at migrants attempting to swim around the fence, in an incident where at least 14 drowned. Authorities have since banned the use of rubber bullets.
Border police then fended off an onslaught of more than 1,600 migrants at the Ceuta border, while more than 200 migrants scaled the border fence in Melilla, many suffering cuts and other minor injuries.
The row between Brussels and Spain escalated on Monday, after the Spanish government hit back at the European Commission for its criticism over the migrant deaths.
The Spanish government has demanded €45 million from Brussels as an emergency fund to heighten security measures at the borders.