Morocco and Algeria are commemorating the 20th anniversary of closing their common border by building separation walls.
The land border between Morocco and Algeria has been closed for “security reasons” since their independence except at certain periods during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they were briefly opened.
On the 20th anniversary of closing their border, the two countries deepened their estrangement. Algeria is said to have deployed troops along the common border with Morocco while the latter built a separation wall under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
Algeria reacted to the Moroccan wall by building a similar wall which stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the south and could reach a hundred kilometres.
Morocco holds Algeria responsible for harming the Moroccan territorial integrity by supporting Western Saharan parties who demand independence from Morocco.
Meanwhile, Algeria has recently accused Morocco of trying to sow discord in the Ghardaia region between Arabs and Berbers.
A French diplomatic source who had previously worked in Rabat told Al-Rai Al-Youm news website that “the Moroccan-Algerian relations are like a chronic disease which is difficult to cure, and once you believe you made a breakthrough, it surprises you again.”
The source pointed out that France has strong interests in Algeria and Morocco, and has suffered in the past where each state accused Paris of supporting the other. “The problem ended after Paris stopped all reconciliation efforts between the two states who lack political maturity and replace it instead with trivial regional conflict.”