A group of four Moroccan nationalists tried on Wednesday morning to “occupy” the Peñon de Velez de la Gomera, a Spanish possession located on the Moroccan coast, but they failed when they were driven out by members of the Spanish military stationed there.
The action was organized by the Coordination Committee for the Liberation of Ceuta and Melilla and the neighboring islands, the president of the group and mayor of the town of Beni Enzar (a town located south of Melilla), Yahya Yahya, who was on hand during the incident, told Efe.
The Government Delegation in Melilla accused the Moroccan activists of wanting “to create stress within and hinder” relations between Spain and Morocco, given that the action was staged by “anti-Spanish activists” on a rocky outcrop where the only residents are Spanish military personnel.
Seven nationalists on Wednesday morning approached the Peñon de Velez, which is linked to Moroccan territory by a sandy isthmus and is midway between the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, which are enclaves on the North African coast.
The seven activists photographed themselves in front of the craggy promontory and four of them, whom Yahya described as “university youths,” scaled its outer walls and from there waved Moroccan flags.
Sources with the Government Delegation in Melilla said that the Spanish troops asked the young people to leave the Peñon and “at no time was forced used.”
The Spanish officials denied that the four youths had been arrested, as Yahya had complained, having said that his four companions had been “handcuffed and knocked to the ground.”
“It’s just the beginning of a series (of actions),” Yahya said, adding that there would be new incidents staged to “liberate” the islands and rocky outcrops possessed by Spain that Morocco claims, including Ceuta, Melilla, the crags of Velez and the Peñon de Alhucemas, and the Charafinas Islands.