Morocco forest becomes a shelter for illegal African migrants

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A freshwater source nearby offers some respite from the hardships these migrants face in the forest. The water is used for drinking as well as cooking food. Al Jazeera
African migrant carrying water for drinking and cooking food in the forest of Tangier city, Morocco. Pic by Al Jazeera

The forest of Tangier, a tourist town in Morocco’s northeast, has become a hideout or a shelter for African migrants who attempt to cross to Europe illegally.

Hundreds of illegal African migrants stay, eat, and sleep in the forest despite of cold weather and rain.

They cook their meals using firewood and metal cans, and wash their clothes in rainwater and rivers. No roof over their heads, and no place to hide from the rain.

The forest is just 25km from Spain, the dream destination, but the dangerous path they take is more closer to death.

However, these African migrants feel so excited to be so close to Europe that they do not care about the risks while crossing the Mediterranean.

Sleeping on discarded mattresses migrants often only possess only mobile phones and the clothes they are wearing. Pic Al Jazeera
Closer to dream land – Morocco Forest. Pic Al Jazeera

Aljazeera reported that more than 2,000 migrants have died while taking this perilous journey into Europe this year.

They have no job, no money, hungry, running from the authorities, and they can be dangerous.

Some of them are stranded in the forest after their money they brought with them from their countries finished, and they have no shelter and nowhere to hide in Morocco except the forest.

They migrate to Morocco not to work or make a living there but only to cross to Europe which looks just few minutes away from there. Their dream, future, and obsession is Europe.

Moroccan police usually raid the forest, arrest and take them to the south of the country.

However, they beg on the streets, save money, and return to the forest where they wait for a boat that can take them to Spain, the dream land.

-Malaysia World News


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Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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