Fences of the border-crossing with Melilla, in Nador, Morocco, where migrants tried to enter the Spanish enclave | Photo: EPA / Maria Traspaderne
Fences of the border-crossing with Melilla, in Nador, Morocco, where migrants tried to enter the Spanish enclave | Photo: EPA / Maria Traspaderne

Kenya has asked the UN Security Council to open an in-depth investigation into the deaths of 23 migrants who were trying to reach the Spanish enclave of Melilla on June 24.

Kenya's delegation to the United Nations on Friday (July 1) addressed a letter to the UN Security Council, asking for an in-depth investigation into the deaths of 23 sub-Saharan migrants who were trying to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla.

Kenya's deputy representative, Mike Kiboino, denounced the inhumane treatment of African migrants which took place on June 24, and urged the Council to protect those fleeing war and insecurity.

"What happened to migrants trying to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla is a blatant violation of the United Nations resolution adopted two years ago to protect and uphold the human rights and freedom of Africans against the excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement agencies," Kiboino said.

"Instead of being protected, they were attacked... We urge the European Union and the African Union to make every effort to ensure that the movement to Europe is safe and dignified," he added.

Kenya has asked the Moroccan government to report anyone responsible for the deaths. Moroccan authorities have said that they will prosecute 65 of the migrants who were part of the mass attempt to cross into Melilla.

OHCHR calls for probe

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani has called for an investigation.

"We call on the two countries (Morocco and Spain) to ensure an effective and independent investigation is held as a first step towards establishing the circumstances of the deaths and injuries, any possible responsibilities, and ensuring accountability as appropriate," Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Morocco and Spain were responsible for an "excessive use of force" against migrants that caused the "death of dozens of human beings, asylum seekers, migrants."

"This is unacceptable" and this tragedy "must be investigated," noted the spokesperson, adding that the excessive use of force was perceived by the UN as coming from "both sides of the border."

 

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