Morocco asks Interpol to arrest Algerian official for inciting terrorism

Mokhtar Saïd Mediouni has urged the Polisario Front to attack Moroccan towns
Mokhtar Mediouni, militar argelino retirado

 -   Mokhtar Mediouni, retired Algerian military officer

Moroccan citizens have lodged a complaint with Interpol against Mokhtar Saïd Mediouni, a former senior military intelligence officer who has encouraged the Polisario Front to carry out attacks on Moroccan territory. "Saharawis, die and sacrifice yourselves as martyrs for your country. Take the war from 'occupied' land to Moroccan territory," the former officer told an Algerian television station.

Mediouni called on Polisario units to attack "not in Western Sahara", but "on Moroccan territory, like Casablanca or Marrakech". "Let the war spread inside Moroccan territory with the aim of creating terror in Moroccan society", he added, according to Rue20.

The ex-military officer also downplayed the importance of the UN project to end the Western Sahara conflict. "If you think the UN will help you achieve independence, forget it", he said. In addition to these statements inciting terrorism against the Alawi Kingdom, Mediouni made several controversial remarks, including the use of insults, against the Moroccan government and army. He also accused Morocco of wanting to "impose its hegemony".

The former officer has also been accused of involvement in the killing of civilians during the 'black decade', one of the most violent episodes in Algerian history. Also, in August 2020, a complaint against Mediouni for sexual assault and attempted rape came to light. As reported by Algerie Part, in 2015 a woman accused him of trying to "initiate a sexual relationship" with her in a lift of a building in Sidi Fredj. The victim was rescued by three men who intervened after hearing her screams. 

 Frontera entre Marruecos y Argelia
Border between Morocco and Algeria

Mediouni's recent statements come at an extremely delicate moment. Following Algiers' decision to break off diplomatic relations with Rabat, tension has been rising in the region. The latest episode that has further strained ties between the two neighbours occurred last week, when Algeria accused the Moroccan army of killing three Algerian civilians in a bombing raid. "Their murder will not go unpunished," Algiers said in a statement. However, there has always been some dispute between Morocco and Algeria, as Algiers is the main supporter of the Polisario Front.

Mediouni also used his speech on Algerian television to comment on this latest development. Like the government, he accused Morocco of bombing the area and reaffirmed that Rabat was involved "in the murder of three Algerian citizens". "Our peoples, the closest, the most similar to each other, have never been so radically divided," he said, referring to the current situation between Rabat and Algiers. "We are not brothers. We must return the Moroccans present on Algerian soil", he added. On the other hand, Mediouni branded those who defend "the causes of Morocco" as "lost and slaves".

The UN mission for the Sahara conflict (MINURSO) is already investigating the incident, although it has already confirmed that the trucks that suffered the attack were in a militarised zone, according to Europa Press.