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21.10.2005 General News

Spain backs repatriation deal with Ghana

By Reuters
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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's cabinet gave the go-ahead on Friday to a repatriation deal with Ghana, which should ease pressure on Spain's North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla by allowing it to send back illegal Ghanaian migrants.

Ghanaians were among the hundreds of illegal migrants who stormed the border fences surrounding the Spanish territories earlier this month.

Ghanaian nationals are also often among the boatloads of sub-Saharan migrants who try to reach the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, seeking a better life in Europe.

Spain's cabinet gave its approval to the agreement that has been negotiated with Ghana.

Without repatriation agreements, Spain cannot return migrants to their countries of origin.

Spain has similar accords with Algeria, Mauritania and Morocco, which are working well, diplomats say. Agreements are also in place with Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau and there have been initial contacts with the governments of Cameroon and Mali.