In Algeria, the media war launched months ago against Morocco has reached a new milestone while Rabat observes silence. Explanations.
On Wednesday April 7, two Algerian media, one military and another civilian attacked Morocco simultaneously. The Algerian army magazine El Djeich criticized the Kingdom, devoting long pages in its April issue to an «investigation» into drug trafficking from Algeria's western borders.
Leaving diplomatic language aside, the publication called Morocco a «narco-state which continues its policy of flooding Algeria with drugs. The Kingdom is described as «a real threat to national security» by the monthly published by the Ministry of Defense, officially headed by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and whose director of publication is none other than General Said Chengriha, army Chief of Staff.
To support its allegations, the magazine presented a new version of the operation carried out by the Royal Armed Forces on November 13 in Guerguerate. According to El Djeich's claims, the operation's objective was to create in the buffer zone «breaches (...) in order to facilitate the transport of cannabis resin to the Sahel and to West Africa and Europe». Three areas where the two enemy neighbors compete to win. El Djeich also insists that the supposed drug money would be financing extremist groups in Africa.
Morocco and the Algerian Hirak
So far, Morocco prefers to ignore these media and political attacks which are growing on the issue of drug trafficking. It is worth mentioning that in June 2013, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs Youssef Amrani revealed that Algerian officials were silent during bilateral meetings about the problem of drug trafficking. He stressed that Algeria had refused the constitution of a Moroccan-Algerian committee composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior of the two countries to deal with the question. In August 2014, it was the Minister of the Interior, Mohamed Hassad, who affirmed in a government declaration that «Algeria remains the main supplier of psychotropic drugs in the region, the impact of which is much more devastating on the health and safety of populations».
If El Djeich chose the track of drug trafficking to attack Morocco, daily L'Expression concluded, in what amounts to an expeditious trial, the «proven responsibility» of Morocco «in the scabrous game against Algeria». «Collusion has been proven between» Algerian «mercenaries from abroad and foreign offices coordinating with the Makhzen», claimed the French-language newspaper in an article published on Wednesday, April 7.
Previously, Algerian circles of power had pointed their finger at «the invisible hand of the foreigner» or «the historical enemy» to explain the resumption of the popular protest movement. This direct designation follows President Tebboune's intervention at a meeting of the High Security Council, where he accused «separatist circles» and «illegal movements close to terrorism» of using the Hirak marches to attack «institutions and symbols of the State».