Since Friday, several hundred migrants have crossed the border between Spain and Morocco. The latter had threatened the EU to relax control over migrants, to focus on the issue of Western Sahara. In four days, more than 850 migrants from Africa have managed to force the border between Morocco and Spain into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, and thus entered the European Union (EU).

Surveillance of the only land border between the African continent and the European Union is the responsibility of Spain and Morocco, but the latter, in a chill with Brussels over a Free Trade Agreement, recently threatened to Half-words to release its control.

Conflict in Western Sahara

The dispute between Morocco and the EU concerns the interpretation of a free trade agreement signed in 2012 on agricultural and fisheries products. Since the annexation of the Sahara in 1976, the Shereefian kingdom has exploited the natural resources of this territory: its water tables indispensable for agriculture, but also its waters considered the most fishy on the African continent. Products from fisheries and agriculture are thus exported to the EU.

But the Polisario Front, which is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara and challenging certain commercial operations, filed an appeal before the European Court in 2012. "We have taken this action both to defend the rights of peoples over their natural resources and to cut the economic source of colonization, "explains Me Gilles Devers, lawyer of the Polisario Front, quoted by the site Orient XXI.

At the end of 2016, the European Court of Justice ruled in the last instance that the free trade agreement does not apply to Western Sahara. Indeed, according to the court, this former Spanish colony controlled by Rabat does not fall within the sovereignty of Morocco and, as such, the agreements can not apply to it. The court also held that "the people of this territory [Western Sahara] must be regarded as a third party likely to be affected by the implementation of a liberation agreement," it said.

"It does not appear that these people have consented to the agreement being applied," the EU Court of Justice continued.