Gabonese students living in Morocco take part in a protest following a disputed presidential election result in their home-country, on September 1, 2016 at the embassy of Gabon in Rabat. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
RABAT, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- the Moroccan authorities have regularized the situations of nearly 23,000 illegal migrants since 2013, local media reported on Friday.
Citing the secretary general of Morocco's interior ministry, Nourdine Boutaib, Alyoum24 news site said that 23 percent of these unauthorized migrants are Syrians, 21 percent are Senegalese and 19 percent from Democratic Republic of Congo.
Morocco has also deported some 5,000 illegal migrants to their countries, the source added.
The same source pointed out that in three years authorities have dismantled 320 illegal migration networks and foiled some 26,000 illegal migration attempts, chiefly to Europe.
In recent years, Morocco has turned from a country of passage for illegal migrants to Europe to a country of settlement for migrants and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, Syria and Iraq.
In 2013 Morocco announced a new and more liberal immigration policy that includes avenues for regularization of unauthorized immigrants.