Afghans undertake perilous journey as situation in Afghanistan deteriorates, and Europe prepares for mass deportations.
On a dirt trail leading to Morocco’s Bolingo camp, shepherds tend their flocks, fruit vendors sell their wares and children play in the streets.
Beyond the treeline, between a mountain and an olive grove, lies a permanent settlement of hundreds of refugees from sub-Saharan Africa – all aiming to reach Europe.
“I’ll go anywhere in Europe,” says Abiba, who left her home in the Ivory Coast several years ago, after her father attempted to force her into marriage with a man 20 years older than her. “He was very old, had white hair and I didn’t want to marry him, so I had to run away.”
Bolingo is among dozens of illegal refugee encampments in Morocco’s Nador province, near the Spanish enclave of Melilla, from where many hope to be smuggled to mainland Spain.
Abiba, who is six months pregnant, said she aimed to board a boat headed for Europe soon, in order to give her child the life that she never had: “Anywhere is good, as long as it is not here.”