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Algeria's chief of staff encourages its population to mobilise against Morocco

Algeria continues to carry out various offensives against Morocco amid the diplomatic rift between the two countries
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PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Chief of Staff of the National People's Army (NPA), Said Chengriha

The diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Algeria is deepening. Only a day after Morocco officially announced the total rupture of relations between the Alawi kingdom and Algeria, the Chief of Staff of the National People's Army (ANP), Said Chengriha, has called on the Algerian population to mobilise in order to thwart Morocco's alleged "unveiled manoeuvres".

This call represents a direct confrontation between Algeria and Morocco, which increases the tension between the two countries at a time when North Africa is experiencing a period of political instability. 

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PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Border crossing point between Algeria and Morocco

According to the magazine El Djeich, this appeal, which directly attacks Morocco, also affects "security in the Sahel and Libya" and motivates the "resumption of armed action by the Polisario Front". 

This is not the first time that Chengriha has directly attacked Morocco and called for a conflict against it. The chief of staff is accused of having been one of the main culprits in causing one of the biggest diplomatic crises in North Africa, and in various Moroccan media he is accused of having "a choleric hatred" for Rabat. Many analysts also point out that this general is pursuing "an open war against Morocco".

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PHOTO/AP  - Saïd Chengriha oversees Algerian Army military manoeuvres

Chengriha is also accused of being part of a triumvirate that also includes Generals Khalid Nezzar and Mohamed Mediéne, who are responsible for purging the Algerian army and leading Algeria to "a dead end".

Morocco and Algeria are currently going through one of their most complicated diplomatic crises. Last August, Algiers announced the unilateral severance of relations, arguing that its decision was the result of "an accumulation of circumstances". Since then, Rabat has tried to reach out to Algiers without success.

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PHOTO/ ARCHIVO - Moroccan brigades

The closure of the Maghreb gas pipeline, Algeria's position on the Western Sahara issue and the closure of Algerian airspace to Morocco are examples of the measures that have been taken in just six months as a result of the diplomatic rift.

During this time, Algeria and Morocco have been engaged in an arms race as a result of the escalation of tension in the region, although Rabat has stated that it "will not allow itself to be dragged into a war with Algeria". 

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PHOTO/AP  -  US Patriot missile defence system

In this sense, the two nations continue to clash over territorial and political supremacy in North Africa. On the military front, Morocco has improved diplomatic relations with Israel, from which it has acquired both military drones and its Iron Dome defence system. It has also sought to modernise its naval capabilities with its latest additions: two French frigates and three SIGMA-class frigates, which would feature state-of-the-art weaponry and electronic systems. Moreover, due to its good diplomatic relations with the United States, Morocco is the country in the region that has purchased the most arms from the US.

On the other hand, Algeria has made use of its good relations with Russia to become the world's third largest importer of Russian arms. It has a powerful air force that is reportedly based on Russian technology and currently has one of the most powerful armies in Africa, second only to Egypt.