Algeria has recalled its ambassador to Morocco and is likely to take further measures in the latest row between both neighbouring African countries over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
The decision follows comments from the Moroccan envoy to the United Nations on Algeria’s Kabylie region, the ministry said after the envoy drew the region into the decades-old row over Western Sahara, which is claimed by Morocco as well as the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.
The Moroccan Ambassador Omar Hilal, had called at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement for “the right of self-determination for the people living in the Kabylie region” in reference to Algeria’s Tamazight-speaking minority. He had suggested Algeria should not deny that while backing self-determination for Western Sahara.
This followed Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra’s announcement of his support for the right of self-determination for the inhabitants of Western Sahara. The territory remains disputed between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a movement backed by Algiers. Algeria said on Saturday that Morocco is involved in an “anti-Algerian campaign” which will have an effect on the Amazigh people living in the Kingdom.
The Polisario Front has been championing the independence for Western Sahara, a Spanish colony until mid-1970s now largely occupied and administered by Morocco.
Land borders between Algeria and Morocco have been shut since the early 1990s over security, worsening the relationship between Algiers and Rabat whose relations have been strained due to the conflict.