UAE bots have launched organised attacks against the Moroccan government and its President Saadeddine Othmani, accusing it of failing to confront the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Moroccan journalist and researcher.
The cyber-attacks accused Othmani’s government of not providing for the needs of citizens amid the spread of the pandemic, adding that the kingdom is on the verge of “starvation”.
Moroccans responded to the trolling by launching the hashtag “Thank You Othmani”, which topped the list of most trending hashtags in the country, in defence of the government’s performance in the face of the pandemic.
These cyber-attacks come amid ongoing news of an undisclosed crisis between Rabat and Abu Dhabi. The signs of this crisis started in early 2019 after Morocco officially announced its withdrawal from the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen through its Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.
The coalition, which launched in 2015, aims to reestablish the government of exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi by quashing the Houthi movement which has taken control of the Yemeni capital and large swathes of the country.
In March, Morocco withdrew its ambassador to the UAE after the Emirates failed to appoint an envoy to Rabat, leaving the post vacant for over a year.
Analysts have warned that the online attack against Morocco aims to divide the political arena as it is directed at the prime minister, but Moroccan activists took a “resolute stance” to stop the spread of unrest.
Morocco has reported more than 6,000 coronavirus cases, including 188 deaths, while the UAE has registered 18,878 cases, 201 of whom died.