CrisisWatch Morocco

Unchanged Situation

Tensions ran high with Algeria over Western Sahara. In virtual Non-Aligned Movement meeting, Algerian FM Ramtane Lamamra 14 July called on UN to accelerate appointment of UN envoy for Western Sahara; in response, Morocco’s Permanent Representative to UN Omar Hilale same day called for Algeria’s Amazigh-speaking Kabylia region “to fully enjoy their right to self-determination”, prompting Algiers 18 July to recall its ambassador to Morocco. Meanwhile, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez 10 July sacked FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya in apparent good-will gesture toward Morocco following sharp deterioration of bilateral relations since April hospitalisation in Spain of Western Sahara independence movement leader Brahim Ghali. UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor 1 July urged Morocco to stop criminalising human rights activists, notably those working on issues related to Western Sahara, denounced “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture” of imprisoned activists (see Western Sahara).
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In The News

1 Nov 2022
Morocco cannot follow Algeria in terms of military spending, so a military alliance with Israel is a way to balance the power with Algeria. VOA

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
6 Sep 2022
We're seeing a diplomatic war [over Western Sahara], where both sides [Algeria and Morocco] are resorting to anything short of open conflict. AFP

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa

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