Spain still controls parts of continental Africa

While most African nations have gained independence since the end of the colonial age, there are still parts of the continent under foreign control.

Most of these are small islands or archipelagos that are dependent territories of the U.K., France, Spain, Portugal and even Italy, but there are still two cities on the continent itself that are considered European territory.

Ceuta and Melilla are two port cities on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast which have been claimed by Spain for more than 400 years along with a handful of islands that are collectively known as the plazas de soberanía or places of sovereignty.

Ceuta is home to 82,000 people and is about eighteen square kilometers in size. While most people speak Spanish, there is still a sizable Moroccan population and the North African country continues to claim that the city is in its territory.

Melilla is the smaller of the two cities in land area at about 12 square kilometers which is the home to about 80,000 people.

Today, both outposts have become magnets for migrants trying to make their way to the European Union which is why giant fences have been erected around the territories which otherwise rely mostly on fishing and tourism to survive.

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