The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Saturday appealed to Morocco and Algeria to restore relations and to negotiate to resolve their differences.
In a statement, the IUMS said that it “is following with great concern the escalating tension in Moroccan-Algerian relations that is embodied in media campaigns, closing borders, severing diplomatic relations, disrupting exchanges and economic interests, leading to an arms race and military preparedness.”
The IUMS warned that “the atmosphere of intense tension and increasing mobilisation without any reasonable reason threatens to drag the two dear countries into a military clash, the extent and consequences of which only God knows.”
The IUMS added: “We remind the officials in the two countries that destructive wars do not come from a deliberate and premeditated decision, but rather come abruptly and erupt suddenly, after the state of rivalry, tension and preparedness reaches its climax.”
The union stressed that “negotiations and dialogue” can solve all problems and end dilemmas.
On Wednesday, Algeria announced the “assassination” of three of its citizens who were on commercial trucks transporting goods to Mauritania, and accused Morocco of “involvement in the bombing with advanced weapons,” vowing that this “will not go unpunished.”
Commenting on this accusation, Moroccan government spokesman, Mustapha Baitas, said that Rabat “adheres to very strict respect for the principles of good neighbourliness with everyone,” without further details.
Ties between the countries have been fractious for years, but have deteriorated since last year after the Algeria-backed Polisario Front said it was resuming its armed struggle for the independence of Western Sahara, a territory Morocco sees as its own.
In August Algeria announced that it had decided to cut ties with Morocco over what it said were Rabat’s “hostile tendencies” towards it.