No unity of the UN Security Council on the drama of Melilla

No unity of the UN Security Council on the drama of Melilla

The UN Security Council met on Wednesday behind closed doors on the tragedy in Melilla which claimed the lives of at least 23 African migrants who tried to enter the Spanish enclave in Morocco on June 24, but without elaborating of a common position, according to diplomats.

Kenya, the non-permanent member behind the council’s convening, has drafted a statement denouncing the suffering of African migrants along the Mediterranean coast and calling on Morocco and Spain for a prompt and impartial investigation.

But this text, which has aroused the reluctance in particular of the United States, has no chance of succeeding as it is, according to several diplomats. The African members of the Security Council – Ghana and Gabon in addition to Kenya – have not shown unity on the response that the Council should give to the tragedy in Melilla, one of these diplomats told AFP. on condition of anonymity.

Asked about this after the meeting, Kenya’s deputy ambassador, Michael Kiboino, declined to comment, assuring that discussions were continuing on his country’s draft declaration.

The session began with a briefing by Ilze Brands Kehris, an assistant to the UN secretary-general for human rights, which was in itself a rather rare occurrence at the Security Council, diplomats noted.

In a statement leaving the Council, Michael Kiboino stressed that African migrants had been “ subjected to horrific brutality by security forces as they sought to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla”.

The purpose of the meeting was for the Security Council to call for a ” human treatment for Africans and stresses that there is a need to respond to the need for security of Africans fleeing wars and insecurity in their countries”, he added.

The Security Council and its members are very concerned about the fate of refugees from other conflicts., continued the diplomat, citing Ukraine. ” We believe that Africans fleeing wars and insecurity in their countries deserve the same respect”he insisted.

At least 23 migrants died and 140 police officers were injured, according to Moroccan authorities, when some 2,000 migrants tried to cross the high chain-link fence separating Melilla from the Moroccan border town of Nador (north).

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