Is this a sign of an arms race between Algeria and Morocco? According to the Algerian site Mena Defense, which first reported the deaths of Algerian truckers on the Moroccan border in early November 2021, the Algerian military has adopted a Chinese electronic warfare system.
This Chinese electronic warfare system is both defensive and offensive. It is responsible for neutralizing enemy radars and communications. This system can also fight against armed drones. Morocco has actually purchased Pyrrhic TP-2 armed drones from Turkey.
Read: Morocco: For what purpose does the Kingdom of the Serbian equip itself with drones?
Beijing arms supplier to Rabat and Algiers
The announcement of the purchase of this Chinese electronic warfare system was published by the Algerian press. It was not denied by Algerian authorities. This electronic combat system is provided by two Chinese companies, ELINC and CEIC. It will be according to Mena Defense website The first surveillance and electronic warfare system of this magnitude on the African continent.
Beijing did not only supply military equipment to Algiers. The Algerian military’s purchase is in retaliation for China’s supply of missile batteries to Rabat. Morocco acquires its first Chinese missile, the FD-2000B. The other three batteries are to be supplied, according to the American magazine Defense News. In 2017, Rabat also purchased the Chinese missile Sky Dragon 50.
Read: Algeria – Morocco: What is the weight of their military forces?
Rising military budget
Algiers and Rabat argue specifically on the Sahrawi question. Morocco demands sovereignty over Western Sahara. Algiers supports the Polisario Front, a Sahrawi political and armed movement opposed to Morocco’s presence in the Western Sahara.
In this context, Algeria and Morocco have increased their military budgets for 2022. Morocco has approved a 2022 budget with a sharp increase in military spending in the wake of the health crisis and regional tensions, with a focus on economic recovery. North Africa. For the first time in the history of the kingdom, the armed forces’ budget is more than 50 billion dirhams, or more than 5 billion euros, according to the AFP.
See: Western Sahara: Will Tensions Rise?
Read: Western Sahara: How far can tensions between Algeria and Morocco go?
Algiers is the second largest arms importer on the continent after Egypt. Algiers is in talks with Moscow to purchase S500 anti-aircraft missiles and the fourth generation of the Russian SU-57 fighter jet. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Algeria spent $ 10.334 billion on weapons in 2019, up from $ 9.584 billion in the previous year. 7.83% increase
Madrid expects diplomatic action from Washington
The border between Algeria and Morocco has been closed for twenty-five years. Since the end of their diplomatic relations this summer, Algiers have extended its border with Morocco. Highly sensitive military sector Tensions between the two countries escalated in November 2021 with the deaths of three Algerian truckers.
According to Algiers, they were killed by Moroccan drones near Mauritania. Rabat denies.
Read: Three Algerians killed in Western Sahara, Algiers blames Morocco.
Algiers also did not digest the agreement on security issues between Tel Aviv and Rabat on November 24, 2021. Algerian newspaper L ‘expression The closest title to power is: “Mossad on our border”. It summarizes the mood in Algiers.
Rabat must buy an Israeli system called Skylock Dome from Skylock Systems, a company designed to detect and neutralize drones.
This arms race is not conducive to the relaxation of relations between the two countries. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez, who traveled to Washington, wants Washington to find a “solution” to the crisis between Rabat and Algiers, particularly the Western Sahara issue. Donald Trump has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. President Biden’s new U.S. administration has not yet reconsidered this recognition.
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