Algeria, Morocco Renew Hostilities as Wildfires Rage On

Algeria and Morocco are at loggerheads over allegations of complicity in the death of a man falsely accused of starting the wildfires that have consumed lives and properties in both countries. 

In a statement by the Algerian Presidency on Wednesday, it described Morocco’a actions as “hostile”, saying it backed a separatist group accused of killing the man.

“The repeated hostile acts committed by Morocco against Algeria require a review of our relations and the intensification of border controls,” the statement read in part. 

Djamel Bensmail was attacked and killed by a mob in the Tizi Ouzou Province and videos making the rounds have shown his suspected killers confessing to the crime. The suspected killers said they are members of the MAK separatist group. 

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Separatist group, Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) was proscribed by the Algerian government in May, alongside the Rachad group. Both groups were declared terrorist organisations.

Algeria has for the umpteenth time accused Morocco of sponsoring the group and severed diplomatic ties with Rabat following its High Security Council meeting. 

Forest wildfires since the 9th of August, have killed at least 90 people in Algeria including fifty-seven civilians and thirty-three soldiers who got trapped while trying to rescue others. 

Morocco also suffered its own wildfires as the temperature rose to 49 degrees on Saturday. It however didn’t suffer as much damage as Algeria.

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A History Of Rows

It’s not the first time both North African giants will be at loggerheads with authority over Western Sahara previously leading to a diplomatic row between both countries.

Algeria-backed Polisario Front Movement has been on a battle against Morocco for superiority over the authority of Western Sahara.

With the United States under Donald Trump supporting Morocco’s authority over the territory, tension was renewed between Algeria and Rabat over the self-named Al Sahrahwi Republic.

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