[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
UN shuts Morocco refugee office
Police guard migrants (Archive image)
Migrants in Morocco have complained about mistreatment by security forces
The United Nations refugee office has closed its office in the Moroccan capital after what it said was a violent protest by migrants.

About 15 people from the Democratic Republic of Congo stormed the UNHCR office in Rabat, to demand more aid.

"We want assistance for rent and food. We are tired of begging on the street," one man told the BBC.

Morocco has come under pressure to clamp down on the many Africans who pass through on their way to Europe.

The UNHCR says there are some 600 registered refugees in Morocco, along with some 10,000 illegal migrants.

Some 30 people who are camped outside the UNHCR office denied using violence during Saturday's demonstration.

They also want the right to work and say that those from Arab countries receive favourable treatment.

UNHCR said they closed the building because they could not work under the threat of violence which was intolerable.

It also said it does not provide refugees with financial assistance anywhere in the world.

Under pressure from Europe, Morocco has cracked down on the African migrants who pass through and has been accused of dumping them on its desert border with Algeria.

Morocco has denied any wrong-doing.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific