SPAIN has agreed to relocate 200 unaccompanied child migrants from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta to other regions across the country.

The announcement comes after some 8,000 people, including around 1,500 minors, risked their lives swimming or wading around the border fence to enter the North African territory from Morocco last week. 

One man drowned in the process and Spain’s interior ministry have since confirmed that 7,500 people had returned to Morocco while ‘around 1,000’ minors remained in Ceuta.

Social Rights Minister Ione Belarra confirmed today that regional authorities around Spain had agreed to house nearly 200 children who were already in Ceuta before last week’s crisis, allowing authorities to better attend to the latest arrivals.

Speaking in Brussels during an EU summit yesterday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the surge in migrants had ‘triggered a crisis unprecedented in recent years between the European Union and Morocco’. 

He added: “The relationship between the EU and Morocco, between Spain and Morocco, is a strategic one… but it must be based on two fundamental pillars,” Sánchez said in remarks broadcast live on Spain’s public television.

“The first is trust and the second is respect, in this case, respect for Europe’s borders, for Spain’s borders in Ceuta and Melilla.

“We must always remind Morocco that it has no better or greater ally within the EU than Spain to defend the strategic interests that are so important for Morocco.” 

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EXPLAINER: Is the Spanish border with Morocco in crisis?

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