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Algeria's provocative move

1 min

A party advocating for the independence of the Rif region in Morocco has officially opened an office in Algiers on Tuesday, a move that risks exacerbating already tense relations between the two North African neighbors.

Algiers severed diplomatic relations with Rabat in August 2021 © Mena Today 

A party advocating for the independence of the Rif region in Morocco has officially opened an office in Algiers on Tuesday, a move that risks exacerbating already tense relations between the two North African neighbors.

The opening of this office, announced over the weekend, has sparked outraged reactions in the Moroccan press, which criticized Algeria for allowing it.

A wave of protests rocked the Rif region in northeastern Morocco between 2016 and 2017.

The "Hirak of the Rif," a historically rebellious Berber-speaking region, was triggered by the death of a fishmonger in Al Hoceima in October 2016, crushed in a garbage truck while trying to resist the seizure of his merchandise.

Hundreds of activists from this socio-economic protest movement were subsequently imprisoned, according to estimates from associations. Most have served their sentences or have been pardoned.

Algiers severed diplomatic relations with Rabat in August 2021, denouncing a series of "hostile acts" by its neighbor, particularly concerning the Western Sahara, normalization with Israel, and support for the independence movement of the Kabylie region (MAK), which Algiers has classified as a terrorist organization.

The conflict in Western Sahara, considered a "non-self-governing territory" by the UN pending a final settlement, has pitted Morocco against the Polisario for decades, with Algeria being its main supporter.

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