The modernization and security reinforcement works on the Ceuta and Melilla border fence will begin before the end of November, once the mandatory administrative procedures have been completed.

The works, which will last for ten months and have a budget of € 17,899,886.69 (€ 8,366,337.42 for Ceuta and € 9,533,549.27 for Melilla), will be a security reinforcement throughout the border fence and will allow the replacement of concertinas and three-dimensional rods throughout the perimeter with other safer and less harmful elements.

This work is one of the measures of the Plan for Reinforcement and Modernization of the Terrestrial Border Protection System in Ceuta and Melilla approved in Council of Ministers in January this year with a total investment of 32 million euros.

The objective of this Plan is to increase the security of the border perimeter, since since 2006 only concrete reforms have been made to repair damages caused by the weather or by the sometimes massive entrances of people. This action is, therefore, the first of structural entity and technological modernization that has been carried out in the last 13 years.

For the realization of these works, a complete technical study of the current situation of border infrastructures, the identification of the sections of their operation taking into account the most vulnerable points, the search, analysis and evaluation of alternatives has been previously made. techniques and the proposed solution in view of the evaluated alternatives. The aforementioned study was carried out by the public company Engineering Systems for Defense of Spain (ISDEFE), under the Ministry of Defense.

Short and medium term measures

In this context of the need for reinforcement and modernization of the land border protection system in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the Plan of measures approved by the Council of Ministers on January 18, 2019 includes short and medium term actions in both perimeters border.

The works on the border fence are the ones of greatest importance, both from an operational point of view and the fight against human trafficking networks, as well as the greater technical complexity in their execution.

The Ministry of Interior has commissioned the execution of the works to the company of Transformación Agraria S.A. (TRAGSA) as its own means of the General State Administration, which will carry out as of November the re-enclosure of the fence and the replacement of the concertinas as well as the construction of new sections in the most vulnerable areas, with an increase up to ten meters high.

In addition to this reinforcement of the perimeter fence in Ceuta and Melilla, two of the strategic interventions of the Plan approved by the Government have already been executed. This is the new closed-circuit television system on the border perimeter of Ceuta that includes 66 cameras, 14 of them thermal, and has been operational since May 2019; and the installation of facial recognition systems at the border posts of El Tarajal (Ceuta) and Beni Enzar, Chinatown, Mariguari and Farhana (Melilla).

In the process of execution are the works of adaptation of the pedestrian transit areas and other improvements in the border post of El Tarajal, as well as the installation of a new fiber optic network and expansion of the CCTV system in the border perimeter of Melilla.

To develop this project, different coordination meetings have been held with the State Security Forces and Bodies and the Government delegations to strengthen the security of the fence during the execution of the works.

Likewise, the Minister of the Interior has been informing from the initial phases to his counterpart of the Kingdom of Morocco of the objective and nature of this Plan and of the need for coordination in the precise security measures on both sides of the border during the period of completion of the works.

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