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Thousands stuck in Europe's waiting room
"Thousands stuck in Europe's waiting room"

"Spain has been transformed into the gateway to Europe for migrants dreaming of a new future. Thousands on european soil via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa – but where are the waiting times long and the desperation of the great."

"It is the spirit of christmas on the promenade in Ceuta. Glittering garlands adorn the gatulyktorna and occasionally drowns out the Mariah Careys “All I want for christmas” söndagssorlet."

"On the other side of the peninsula is heard no christmas music. Mamadou and Brahim stands on the slope that slopes down towards the sea. Behind them sits a dozen guys with their eyes fixed on the horizon. They live in the Ceti, Ceuta state facility for migrants, a stone's throw away."

"There are around 650 people. Here, by the sea, it is quieter."

" Usually, we sit just here. Sometimes we are in the middle of town begging. But not so often, it is embarrassing considering how we look, " says Brahim and pointing to their worn sandals."

"– And the spaniards think we will see aggressive when we go around the group, " adds Mamadou."

"On the other side of the ocean, looming mountains – Spain, the mainland. First, where, at the Swedish migration board in cities such as Algeciras, the asylum process begins. But by themselves they do not know when the journey shall be done."

"this year, over 6 500 migrants taken her on to european soil via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla – which has the EU's only land border with Africa. According to a regeringstalesperson should the waiting time does not exceed four months. But Brahim and Mamadou has been in Ceuta for five months and know more, as expected, significantly longer. Some up to a year."

" I pray to God that I get to go soon. This is not a life, " says Brahim."

"the 2018 has a record number of refugees and migrants reached Spain. The country receives around 40 percent of everyone who comes to Europe, according to the united nations migrationsorganisation IOM. It is almost three times as many as in the previous year. Most have arrived by boat – almost 55 000 since the end of the year, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)."

"But to take over the sea is expensive. The smugglers require several thousand euros per passenger. To climb over the fences into the Spanish enclaves of, however, is free."

"– the Way into Ceuta is dangerous, because you have to climb over the barbed-wire fence. But it was the only option for us who don't have families who can send money, " says Mamadou and shows the scars on her arms."

"Just like most of the camp will Mamadou and Brahim from Guinea, a country with one of west africa's poorest populations. They are young, a little over 20, but have been on the road for a long – through countries such as Mali, Niger and Algeria to Morocco."

"They've been told that in Europe, there is plenty of work and migrants are well taken care of. But know today, Brahim that not everything is true. He also lie when he is talking with acquaintances who are in the moroccan forests around Ceuta."

" Nobody said to us that there was such a hell here. Now I understand why, for I do the same thing. You don't want to kill the dreams of those who are still trying to come here."

"In a grove, the residents of Ceti built makeshift tents of pallets, plastic plates and tarpaulins. Inside the crowd a group of guys on a couple of mattresses. As for Mamadou, and Brahim, it is unemployment and poverty which brought them here."

"at the same time is their uncertainty more about what to expect in Europe or what is required for their stay. A young man wrapped in a blanket says he was born during the civil war in Sierra Leone, but that he had grown up in Liberia."

"– is that Enough to get asylum?"

"No one in the tent can respond to him. No one will know."

"Maite Pérez Lopéz is a social worker at the organization San Antonio in Ceuta."

"– The sad reality is that these people are not just going with the difficulties in your luggage, without much difficulties awaiting them in Europe. It is not always they are aware of it, " she says."

"San Antonio is one of a handful of centers where the migrants in Ceuta can apply to the daytime. It offers, among other things, courses in Spanish. But not many from the Ceti involved, according to Maite Pérez Lopéz. Few bother to learn the language, because many come from French-speaking countries and has planned to stay in Spain."

"– All would serve to receive the help that is offered, it would increase their chances. But we can't force someone who would rather want to use drugs or drink alcohol during their time here."

"It has become dark in the forest. In the makeshift tent, walk a whiskeyflaska around among the eager hands. The air is thick of cannabisrök."

"Brahim halvligger on the mattress, and looking blankly in front of him. Every day is a battle against uncertainty, " he says."

"– But I try to maintain hope. God would not have brought me here if he had not a plan."

"In the year (between 1 January and 16 december) has 61 556 refugees and migrants have come to Spain, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). Of them 54 973 by sea and 6 593 overland, through the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla."

"The most common nationalities who came to Spain between January and november were moroccans (21%), guineaner (21 per cent) and are (16 per cent). 78 per cent of all who came to Spain between January and november were men, 11% were women and 11 percent of children, according to UNHCR."

"The Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla have the EUROPEAN union's only land border with Africa. During the summer months, raided the border between Ceuta and Morocco several times. 26 July managed around 600 people take over gränsstaketen at the same time, and on August 22, about 300 people. According to the Spanish Guardia Civil was injured both the Spanish border and migrants in the scuffle."

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