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“Every time there is a change of regime, there are attacks”A male respondent from the Democratic Republic of Congo interviewed in Morocco




“The main reasons for which I left are reasons of insecurity. There are constant security problems in my country. In our house we were evacuated. Every time there is a change of regime, there are attacks. We were attacked twice. We were always among the people in the area that were targeted by the military who came every time to strip us of everything we had. These are the reasons that pushed me to leave.”

“Then there are also the system problems. I was a public official as a teacher in secondary education, but my salary was derisory. I earned $25. That’s what pushed me to leave. I could not make ends meet. At the human rights level too, if you denounce, you are targeted by the police, by the authorities. You are seen as a sower of trouble. I’m an activist. Since I have been here in Morocco in 2011, I have started to campaign for human rights. I didn’t travel by plane in order to get here, I came by road. I left Congo Kinshasa, to go to Congo Brazzaville, to Republic of Central Africa, to Cameroon, to Nigeria, to Niger, to Algeria, to come to Morocco. It took me three years to get to Morocco.”


“I arrived in Cameroon where I had to work to earn money to continue my walk. Along the route I received information on internet which allowed me to program my way country after country. And also in every country I knew which person to contact in order to go to the next place. This is how communications are made and shared among people. When I left Kinshasa to go to Morocco, for example, I followed a determined route, I was given a specific contact.”

“When you arrive in a country you learn about your compatriots. For example, here I came to a village in eastern Cameroon, I inquired, and I already knew that in this village it was difficult to find my compatriots. The first thing I started to look for was a church. I knew that at the church I could be easily helped. I went to see a pastor and after that he helped me. For five months I slept at the church until I found the means to continue.”

“In Maghnia there are smuggler centres. They are traffickers, when I arrived in Maghnia that’s what I found. We slept in like a van, and well, there are large tap valves and you go down in the night, because in the day you are hunted, because the police is chasing you. You come in the night only to sleep. It is from that place that they allow you to pass, to cross later.”

“It is organized by communities. When you get there, you first go through the whole thing and take all the money you have on you. And then you have to pay the money to stay and the money to cross. If you do not have money they send you to work with Algerians whom they know. It is a trafficking network. This is why many people when they arrive in Algeria, do not enter Morocco directly. They go first to Algiers, to Algiers they will work to have enough money to pay the smuggler and everything. And when they arrive in Oujda if they have enough money they leave you directly to the border or if they have not enough money they still come to Rabat, to recharge themselves, and to see if there are any contacts there who will help them to find their way after trying the crossing. Here people attempt directly to Spain, they hope for Melilla or for Ceuta, or go directly to the great Spain by the sea.”

“In Nador it is a well-organized band. In Tangier it is not as organized as in Nador. In Tangier you pay for your own zodiac, you have to discover the day you will cross. There are guards on the coast and then on the sea, you just have to pray that you do not cross the Moroccan navy in the waters. But in Nador it is well organized. They are Moroccans who organize the travel and everything. They manage to negotiate well with the sailors, and so on. Because at high sea there is nothing, if you cross the navy, it is a problem.”

“There are nationalities which are much more predominant at the barriers, these are the Cameroonians, the Malians, and the Guineans. Nigerians prefer much more to cross by sea. The Cameroonian, Malian, Guinea communities, and also the Senegalese one, prefer much more to attempt the barrier because they do not have enough means to pay a zodiac to go to sea. There are few Nigerians or Congolese to cross by the fences.”

March 2017 – Documented by MHub Data Focal Point in Morocco – Eleanora Castagnone