Posted on Jun 05, 2021
In Morocco they call them the occupied "Sebtah and Melilah". The rest of the world knows them as the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa, the BBC reports.
They are the only piece of European territory on mainland Africa - a political and legal reality that has never been recognized by Morocco, which has continued to demand their return, along with four other smaller territories in the Mediterranean all in the narrow strait of Gibraltar. Spain also claims Gibraltar as its own.
Last month, an exceptionally large number of migrants crossed the border in one single day - some 8,000, mostly Moroccans. It also emerged that the Moroccan guards turned a blind eye to the breach.
The incident quickly developed into a diplomatic crisis between Spain and Morocco, prompting the Spanish government to send reinforcements to the territories and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to describe it as an "unprecedented [crisis] in recent years between the EU and Morocco".
As the crisis was unfolding, Moroccans launched a campaign on Twitter, with the slogans: "Ceuta and Melilla is not Spain" and "Ceuta and Melilla are Moroccan - end colonialism".
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