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Moroccans and Algerians demand opening of borders

Morocco’s King Mohamed VI (L) and and Algerian President, AbdelAziz Bouteflika [File photo]

Scores of citizens protested in Morocco and Algeria, Sunday, to demand open borders between the countries.

According Anadolu, dozens of Moroccans gathered in front of Zouj Beghal border crossing to demand the opening of land borders.

Protesters, including human rights activists, lifted Moroccan and Algerian flags and banners.They chanted: “The people want the opening of the border.

“Protesters at the Moroccan side gave testimonies about the suffering they are endure because of thee closed border. For example, that they had to travel long distances to see their relatives. Yemina El Saadouni, one of the Algerian protesters, demanded the opening of the border to visit relatives for the first time in 25 years.

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“I hope to see the border open so my suffering would end,” Yemina told Anadolu on the sidelines of the protest.

Protesters made demands on their political leaders. They should “leave their differences behind. Listen to the people and work together to resolve the border problem.”

“Our suffering must end. It has deepened day by day, because of the high prices of airline tickets.”

Others said they hoped for “integration between the two countries and the Maghreb Union is a crucial issue and a popular demand.”

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Algerian protesters had similar demands. They insisted on ending the deadlock that has prevailed on the border since their closure in 1994.

In 1994, Algeria closed its borders with Morocco after Rabat imposed visa restrictions on its nationals. Algerians had been accused of involvement in a bomb attack on a hotel in the city of Marrakech.

Relations between Morocco and Algeria are described as “cold”.

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