Sub-Saharan Migrants in the Europe’s Sourthern Border

On the dirt trail leading up into to the Bolingo mountain there are small houses, shepherds and fruit endors. Farmer’s children playing on the streets, looking idly at passersby. It’s life a usual on this stretch of land between C., Morocco, and Melilla, Spain, if it weren’t for the 400 sub-Saharan migrants who have settled camp less than two miles away, hoping to cross Europe’s Southern border.

Between a mountain and an olive patch, hidden in the tree line there is a permanent settlement. Here live mostly Ivory Coast and Guinean man, women and children, who hope this is the last stop on their long treacherous journey towards Europe. They have crossed through a desert of sand. Now the water and the red tape, the mafias and Melilla’s fence stand between them and their goal.

“I’ll go anywhere in Europe.” answers Abiba. She fled her small home in Ivory Coast almost three years ago. Her family was very poor and her father forced her to marry a man twenty years older than her. “He was very old, had white hair and I didn’t want to marry him, so I had to run away” she says. Abibba made her way into Morocco where she found work as a clothes vender in a market in Casablanca. Now, after a two year struggle, she sleeps in Bolingo , one of the dozens of ilegal camps in Nador Province. Some people try to climb the infamous Melilla fence, others, pay huge sums of money to be smuggled into the Spanish enclave by car or to be transported by boat to Mainland Spain. That is Abiba’s case. She is 6 months pregnant and hopes to be able to get on a lifeboat headed for Europe soon. Her dream is to give her child the life she never had, far away from the dangerous encampments, from the repression by Moroccan auxiliary forces. “Anywhere is good, as long as it is not here”.

This work was published by Al Jazeera