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Morocco to reintroduce military conscription as Algeria tension rises

Members of Moroccan special forces take part in a military exercise near the city of Tifnit in southwestern Morocco on June 17, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of Moroccan special forces take part in a military exercise near the city of Tifnit in southwestern Morocco on June 17, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

Morocco is preparing to reintroduce military conscription as tension with Algeria rises. Conscription has been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces is developing a plan to organise the process for receiving new recruits for military service," explained the minister delegate to the Prime Minister for national defence, Abdellatif Loudiyi. He added that four new training centres have been established to receive 20,000 new recruits, in Benslimane, Sidi Yahya Al-Gharb, Benkirir and Tantan.

"The interior ministry will soon start counting and classifying the individuals who will join the 37th Regiment after approval by King Mohammed VI," the official pointed out.

Ties between Rabat and Algiers have been fractious for years but deteriorated last year after the Algeria-backed Polisario Front said it was resuming its armed struggle for the independence of Western Sahara, a territory over which Morocco claims sovereignty. Tension also escalated earlier this month when Algeria accused the kingdom of killing three civilians driving in the Sahara area.

READ: Morocco extradites 12 smuggling suspects to Algeria

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