Wednesday, 01 December 2021 07:22 GMT

Morocco, Spain Reach Agreement to Curb Deadly Stampedes in Ceuta


(MENAFN- Morocco World News) Photo Credit: El Pueblo Ceuta Rabat – The increase of stampedes in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta has pushed the Moroccan-Spanish authorities to find a solution to reduce the fatalities caused by stampedes annually. For the neighbors, building a bridge in the Morocco-Spain Tarajal border checkpoints will ensure smooth traffic flow.

In January, two Moroccan women died while several others suffered injuries after a at one of the entrance gates of the Ceuta's crossing border.

Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported in its weekend issue that the Moroccan Spanish authorities have reached an agreement to build a bridge that will ensure the smooth flow of traffic and add two additional passages: one entrance to the Spanish protectorate and one exit.

The two other passages will be dedicated to the circulation of travelers and tourists.

Al Ahdath added that the Spanish authorities will only allow access to cars whose legal documents comply with European regulations, especially the stipulation that the driver be the owner of the vehicle.

The vehicle queue will be organized along the perimeter of the Moroccan side of the border to unclog the national road 352, which serves as a major thoroughfare in Ceuta, connecting the city center and the port.

Nearly 900 cars cross the border each day. The border has also served as a major crossing point for illegal goods.

According to Spanish news outlet , the Spanish Ministry of Interior and Treasury have already set a plan for the modernization of the border point, known as El Tarajal I. According to the Spanish source, the construction works might begin in early 2019.

The newsource added that a seven-lane expansion is planned, one of which will be reserved for the security officials.

Three stampedes were reported in 2017. The first incident occurred on March 28, 2017,, while the second dates back to April 24. One Moroccan woman was killed in each respective incident. The third tragedy occurred on August 28: two Moroccan women died, while others suffered injuries.

In June 2017, Spanish authorities made an agreement with the to prevent the so-called 'human mules,' or Moroccan women who carry heavy loads of trade goods across the border, from crossing through Ceuta's El Tarajal II checkpoint in the same day.

According to the agreement, women are allowed to cross the border only on Mondays and Wednesdays, while men will be permitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.In the same month, Spanish parliament discussed a suggestion by Podemos Party to improve the working conditions of and Melilla's 'human mules,' though no decisive action has occurred in the time since.

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