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D+C Vol.42.2015:2 39 want to discuss any details. He says he has decided to speak English and claim to be from Sierra Leone if he manages to set foot on Spanish soil because Senegalese citi- zens are deported immediately. Spain and Senegal have a repatriation agreement. Once he is in Spain, friends will send him his Senegalese passport by mail. He has another plan, a “Plan B”, but he is keeping that one to himself. Until his big day, he’ll have to earn some money and kill time in Tangier. Small jobs in private households allow him to make ends meet – sort of. He lives on around 600 dirhams (not quite the equivalent of € 60) a month, which is barely enough. When times get particu- larly hard, he asks wealthy Moroccans for help. Many migrants in Tangier live near the airport in Boukhalef. Many oth- ers live in the old city centre. Bouba spends a lot of time with other migrants in the café in the Medina. It’s a place to share experiences, he says, and a place to hang out together. Next door, Amadou Kebe runs a res- taurant with traditional Senegalese food. The room only has eight square metres. A full meal costs the equivalent of a mere two euros. This restaurant is a remarkable expression of intercultural solidarity. It ca- ters to migrants from all over sub-Saharan Africa, who congregate here, as well as Moroccans. All customers are invited to pay a „plat en attentate“, thus providing a meal to the next visitor who could other- wise not afford one. Bouba sleeps in one of the budget ho- tels in the city centre. Most migrants share rooms, which cost 30 to 40 dirhams a night, but Bouba prefers to sleep alone. Migrants are often in sad and aggressive moods, he says. It would depress him even more if he shared a room with them. On particularly bad days, Bouba withdraws to this hotel and sits alone on the roof ter- race, thinking and smoking. He never drinks alcohol, he says. He misses his family, his parents and siblings, but going home is not an option. “Si j’avance, ma famille avance aussi,” he says – if he gets ahead, so will his family. He has no intention of returning to Sene- gal, since he does not see how he would ever be able to earn enough money. “Why do borders exist?” Bouba asks again and again. “Why can Europeans come here without any obstacles while the border stays closed for us Africans?” In his eyes, this state of affairs is rooted in a lack of respect for human beings. He does not un- derstand the EU’s fear of being overrun should it open its borders. Ultimately, EU policy is causing the “tides of migrants” that many Europeans feel to be such a “menace”. Human-rights ­organisations Amnesty International (AI) and other or- ganisations have repeatedly expressed scathing criticism of the EU border-control system and asylum procedures. According to AI, human rights are frequently vio­ lated, especially when refugees and mi- grants are intercepted at sea. Only a tiny minority are not immediately deported after they arrive. This is not what Bouba calls “encounters at eye level”. Even in Morocco he regularly experi- ences disrespect and racism. According to Human Rights Watch, assaults by Moroc- can police on sub-Saharan migrants are common, especially in coastal towns and border areas. “Clandestine people are third-class citizens,” Bouba says, “tourists come first, then the Moroccans, then us.” He adds: “C’est la vie” – that’s life. But then he considers for a moment and says: “No, it’s not life. It’s the system.” * The Name has been changed. References: Amnesty International, 2013: Ohne Chance auf Asyl. Flüchtlinge an den EU-Außengrenzen (only in German). Human Rights Watch, 2014: Abused and expelled. Ill-treatment of sub-Saharan African migrants in Morocco. Shelley, L., 2014: Human smuggling and trafficking into Europe: a comparative perspective. Migration Policy Institute. Link: Solidarity with the restaurant Chez Kebe: solidaire-a-tanger Floreana Miesen is a student of Geography at the University of Bonn and a freelance writer. [email protected] Miesen Again and again, migrants try to climb over the border fence of Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in North Africa. Tribune