North African migrant solidarity organisations convene in Morocco to mark the anniversary of the Melillia-Nador massacre

15 June 2023: North African migrant solidarity organisations convene in Morocco to mark the anniversary of the Melillia-Nador massacre

Civil society action in solidarity with migrants in the Maghreb (North Africa) region has increased over the last year, with activity in Tunisia and Morocco in particular strengthening in response to negative developments on the part of the respective national governments.

The development of this work will take a big step forward over the coming week as representatives of migrant and North African diaspora associations convene in the Moroccan city of Nador for the fifth Maghreb Social Forum on Migration. Gathering under the slogan: “Never again “Bario Chino”, the Forum will coincide with the first anniversary of the massacre at the border crossing between Morocco and Spanish enclave city of Melilla in which at least 37 migrants died in a crush resulting from an attach of the Moroccan police.

Calling for a Maghreb “free of hatred, xenophobia and racism” this Forum follows similar events mobilising migrant and antiracist activists in North Africa and across the European diaspora. Previous sessions took place in Brussels (2010), Oujda (2012), Monastir (2014) and Tangiers (2016).

Three main themes have been selected for the Forum.  These are:

– the tragedy suffered by migrants on 24 June 2022 at the Barrio Chino border crossing 

– the fight against hate speech, xenophobia and racism, and the state of play regarding violations of migrants’ rights by both the Maghreb authorities and EU governments 

– Migration policies of the European Union and the Maghreb states. 

As in previous editions, this Forum is above all dedicated to migrants, who will have the floor to raise their profile in the Maghreb. It will also be a time for inclusion, exchange, coordination and preparation of joint actions, and evaluation of migration policies in the Maghreb context.

Also in connection with the Barrio  Chino massacre, the Spanish migrant solidarity association, Caravana Melilla 2023 has organised a petition calling for, among other demands:

  1. The immediate dismissal of the Minister of the Interior, Grande-Marlaska as the head of the operation implemented on June 24, 2022 in Melilla and his removal from any electoral list in the next general elections on July 23.
  2. The opening of independent and effective investigation mechanisms that comply with the obligation of the Spanish State to prosecute international crimes, especially those perpetrated by its own agents against racialized people. 
  3. Make immediately available to the families affected by the massacre all the necessary mechanisms for the search for the disappeared persons, as well as for the identification and recovery of the remains of the fatalities.

The Caravana is welcoming signatories from migrant and human rights organisation intrnationally.  To view and sign the petition, go to (English translation is available)