The African Union Commission chief, Moussa Faki Mahamat has voiced his shock at the “violent and degrading” treatment of African migrants trying to cross from Morocco into Spanish territory after 23 people died and have called for an investigation into the incident.
On Friday, approximately 2,000 migrants stormed the heavily fortified border between the Moroccan region of Nador and the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
At least 23 migrants died and 140 police officers were wounded in the ensuing violence, according to Moroccan authorities.
It was the heaviest death toll in years of such attempts to cross the frontier into Melilla.
In a statement via Twitter on Sunday, AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said: “I express my deep shock and concern at the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants attempting to cross an international border from Morocco into Spain.”
“I call for an immediate investigation into the matter and remind all countries of their obligations under international law to treat all migrants with dignity and to prioritise their safety and human rights, while refraining from the use of excessive force,” he added.