Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba sought to put a dispute over immigration issues with Morocco in the past on Monday saying the incidents had served to bolster police cooperation between the countries.
Rubalacaba met his Moroccan counterpart Taib Cherkaoui in Rabat on Monday to discuss relations between the two countries, following recent sporadic blockades by anti-Spanish demonstrators at the gates of the Melilla enclave.
Moroccans have long resented the existence of the Spanish enclaves of Mellila and Ceuta, but the latest disputes began just over three weeks ago when five Belgian nationals of Moroccan descent who had tried to enter Melilla accused the Spanish police of beating and abusing them.
The Moroccans were especially upset at the female police officers.
Via the Reader [Aug 15]:
Moroccan activists have tonight erected a new photo montage of Spanish police officers, in demostrate against police brutality on the Beni-Enzar border crossing to and from Melilla and Morocco.(more)
"Tha National Police stole the other posters we put up, so we've had another bigger one made, showing a complete of eleven female officers, to ask these women to stop the brutality," said Munaim Shauki, the head of the North Moroccan Civil Society (CSCNM).
The latest photo montage, erected in the so-called "no-man's land" at this border point, shows the officers in a rubbish dump, combined with images of hands stained red with blood and the word "frontier".
"We respect these women and have nothing against them, but most of the brutality has been initiated by them. They are the ones who throw the first stone and we just retaliate," continued Shauki, who is also the National Council for the Liberation of Ceuta and Melilla's (CNLCM) coordinator for foreign affairs.
The police claimed that the female police officers (ES) are being harassed by the Moroccans, and that the Moroccans do not accept the authority of the female police officers just because they're women.
In the meantime, there's a truce until the end of Ramadan.