A crying young migrant used plastic bottles to keep himself afloat in a desperate attempt to reach a Spanish enclave.
Images captured last Wednesday show the young Moroccan crying as he paddles towards the shore and clings to a buoy, surrounded by floating soda bottles strapped to his waist.
Once out of the water, the boy ran across the beach in front of Spanish soldiers and attempted to climb a wall barefoot before being arrested.
A migrant boy desperately uses plastic bottles to stay afloat.
The boy, a migrant attempting to reach the Spanish enclave Ceuta, tied plastic bottles to himself.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 20, 2021
Questioned after his arrest, the young man said he would rather die than return to Morocco.
“He didn’t want to go back, he has no family in Morocco, he didn’t care if he froze to death; he would rather die… than return to Morocco, ”soldier Rachid Mohamed al Messaoui told Reuters.
“I have never heard this from someone so young,” he added.
The boy was among thousands who tried to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish city of Ceuta last week after African authorities deliberately removed border guards and allowed the stampede to score a political point.
Ceuta is on the African continent, not far from a promontory in Morocco, and the Rabat decision has prompted accusations of “aggression” and “blackmail” from Madrid.
Since Monday, a record 8,000 migrants have crossed Ceuta from Morocco, sparking chaotic scenes as authorities scramble to deal with the unprecedented influx.
The mass movement comes amid a diplomatic row between the two countries over Spain’s decision to provide medical treatment to a militant leader who has been fighting Morocco for decades.