The organization demands free access to provide care for nearly 1,000 immigrants gathered in the area of Bou-Izakarn, 30 km north from Goulimine
Rabat/Bou-Izakarn, October 12, 2005 - Doctors Without Borders/Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) demands from Moroccan authorities free access to provide care to around 1,000 immigrants, gathered in the area of Bou-Izakarn, 30 km north from Goulimine, located 1,500 km from Rabat. Some of them, including pregnant women and children, were cast off to fend for themselves in the desert area of Ain Chouater without water or food.
Faced with an uncertain destination, these people, after having traveled in inhumane conditions for almost a week, are now being moved away to different parts of the country by the Moroccan authorities. MSF has followed these immigrants across more than 2,500 km and demands for humane treatment for these people, including medical care, water, food, shelter, and a dignified treatment.
Dr. Javier Gabaldon, MSF general coordinator in Morocco, underlines that the affected people "are extremely weak" and that "among this group there are people who are sick and injured, pregnant women and children in need of immediate medical care."
Rafael Vila-Sanjuan, MSF general director in Spain, adds that, notwithstanding the latest negotiations that have taken place in the past few days in Rabat, "the Spanish Government and the European Union should not be satisfied with only declarations of good intention from the Moroccan government. Today, there are around 1,000 people whose whereabouts are unknown. People to whom, in addition, we do not have access. The international community should demand more transparency from Rabat."
MSF has been working in Morocco since 1997, focusing on providing medical care and humanitarian assistance to sub-Saharan immigrants.