Spain's interior minister announced here Wednesday the deployment of a helicopter and 20 additional Civil Guard officers to secure the borders of this Spanish city against a massive influx of undocumented migrants from neighboring Morocco.
The new helicopter will overfly the coast and the border as a deterrent tactic and will be used to improve the operational capabilities of the Civil Guard, Jorge Fernandez Dias told a press conference in Ceuta.
The minister is visiting the city for the first time since the Feb. 6 tragedy, when 15 Sub-Saharan immigrants perished while trying to swim to the Ceuta coast.
He will travel Thursday to the other Spanish city in North Africa, Melilla, which is likewise contending with the problem of unauthorized immigration.
Within weeks, Fernandez Diaz said, both Ceuta and Melilla will have an unclimbable net "that is very effective."
"Improving the border infrastructure contributes toward improving the fight against irregular immigration," the minister said.
"The border must be ever more secure because it's an inescapable duty ... Spain has the right and the duty to control its borders and we hope to continue doing so with the renewed commitment of the European Union," he said.
The minister said that the Civil Guard is operating on the borders "respecting human rights and prevailing national - as well as European - law."
In addition, a joint Spanish-Moroccan committee will be created later this month to resolve the legal disputes stemming from the 1992 bilateral accord on blocking the border.
An estimated 500 sub-Saharan migrants have breached Melilla's border since the start of the year and 1,500 more made an attempt to storm the barrier on Tuesday. EFE