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Mass relocation to uncertain locations for immigrants in Morocco after MSF highlights their plight

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Since then, the number of immigrants in El Aouina-Souatar and Bouarfa has increased to well over 1,000 as Moroccan authorities conducted a series of raids in Tangiers, Casablanca and Rabat gathering more illegal immigrants.

Moroccan police have since gone to El Aouina-Souatar and Bouarfa and reallocated them to three temporary centers.

During the weekend, MSF teams distributed water, food and blankets to those inmigrants.

On Saturday, representatives from the Mali and Senegal governments went to Bouarfa and identified their nationals. Afterwards, they were brought to Oujda in the north, and they have been returned to their homelands. The number relocated in this step is unclear.

The rest of imigrants have been detained and taken by force in 35 buses to unknown destinations in Morocco. According to different sources - including some of the inmigrants - some of them are being brought to Smara (near the south west coast) and some to Dakhla (south of El Aaiun). These locations are inside the western Sahara, a conflict area. Journalists are not allowed in the region and there is no further information or images of these immigrants.

However there is a number of NGO representatives, including MSF, who have individuals following the buses.

In addition, MSF human resources and materials are being prepared for a further intervention.