The armies of Morocco and Algeria are reinforcing their presence on the border area.
Moroccan Al-Masa newspaper reported on Saturday that “the number of border guards will be increased to provide security information, control the movement of smuggling networks and counter terrorist threats from the Sahel area and Sahara, which seek to penetrate the region.”
Earlier the Algerian authorities announced that they would increase the number of border surveillance posts on the Algerian-Moroccan borders by building ten new posts.
The escalations on the land border between the two countries coincided with Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel’s meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Kohler in Berlin, which took place on Thursday.
The meeting comes within the framework of Kohler’s consultations with Morocco and the Polisario Front as well as neighbouring Algeria and Mauritania.
During the meeting, Messahel renewed his country’s support for a referendum on self-determination in Western Sahara, an option rejected by Rabat.
Meanwhile, Karim Moulay, dissident Algerian security expert said “the Algerian escalation on the border with Morocco aims to divert the Algerian public’s attention by creating an outside enemy that threatens Algeria’s security and unity.”
Moulay ruled out the possibility that the tension between the two neighbours would turn into a military war, given the economic, political and security concerns of both countries.