Annan urges humane treatment of migrants trying to cross Morocco-Spain border

7 October 2005

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced deep concern about the “very serious situation” of migrants trying to cross from Morocco into Spain and urged all governments to manage the flow of people across borders more effectively.

Six of those trying to make the crossing through the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla were reported killed yesterday in the latest of several violent incidents.

“While acknowledging the legitimate need for concerned governments to enforce immigration laws and obligations, the Secretary-General urges them to do so humanely,” Mr. Annan's spokesman said in a statement released in New York.

Earlier, the Secretary-General was asked about the issue at a press conference in Bern. “The whole issue of migration and asylum-seekers is become a very hot issue, and in some situations, politically highly charged,” he replied. “We have to manage it, we have to come up with the right laws and the right approaches to manage it, and governments have to work together to deal with this issue.”


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