March 22, 2023

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Could the Moroccan Sahara be Algerian generals’ “Ukraine”? The international community was taken as a witness

Amin Riad

Not only the West but the whole world should learn from the Russia-Ukraine war. Also, regional tensions and heightened economic insecurity in this environment especially for us Africans. Energy and food crises, to name only the most socially impactful, confront Africans every moment. Must we add to this the devastating effects of military conflict in the north of the continent?

President Putin, in his quest for power, found all the ingredients in his war against Ukraine. It has consolidated its internal power, legitimized massive repression and undivided power. And, outwardly, it infuses the ideology of psychological warfare against the West to deceive Third World public opinion. Positioning itself as a world champion in an ideological struggle against the West, which has been labeled “oppressive and degenerate” by Russian leaders, is the most politically profitable form of populism.

We should not rush into this ideological trap because it applies to dictators, not democrats. A parallel with neighboring Algeria, which has been allied with Russia since the Soviet era, is an apparently plausible scenario. Making Algeria’s Moroccan Sahara “Ukraine” by sending army tanks to this side of the border at dawn. It will be the result of a war logic that the generals have been trying to impose on Morocco since the military-elected President Debon took office and installed new hawks at the helm of the country.

A wish that no doubt ran through the minds of the Algerian commanders. Thus they can restore a new legitimacy to the degenerate regime and hide from the eyes of the Algerian people a disastrous socio-economic failure of governance. A scenario that suits these new hawks well. They have just celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the independence of this martyred country after 60 years of military rule. And how to celebrate it? By showing a military parade through the streets of Algiers in the old Soviet style, pathetically and in great pomp. The official press and media for their part poured out anti-colonial rhetoric targeting France and neighboring Morocco. In the absence of a constructive political program the chances of a regime were very good.

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Many intelligent Algerian intellectuals rose up against this masquerading in the international press. Social networks have raised people’s voices against all this confusion, which only promotes the interests of the military nomenclature and its employees. Many videos of Algerians have gone viral on the internet denouncing the waste of the country’s vast resources to buy weapons and equipment from foreign countries rubbing their hands in this financial scam. Where is the freedom? Just go back to the graves of the lakhs of martyrs of the freedom struggle.

After 60 years of independence, people would have liked their country to present the face of a prosperous and economically autonomous and peaceful society at the political and social level. It’s nothing, maybe we should wait for 120Do Anniversary and the arrival of another generation of leaders.

Meanwhile, the noises of these boots of the Algerian generals should worry the international community. A new war front in the Maghreb will be a new planetary catastrophe. Africa and the rest of the world will not recover.

The logic of war manifests itself on many fronts through increasingly open hostilities. First, the unilateral break in diplomatic relations decided by the Algerian regime, the failed provocations at the borders by the Polisario intervention, the fake so-called Moroccan military operations against Algerian citizens staged in the media.

Added to this is the refusal to participate in the negotiating round tables proposed by the United Nations Special Envoy, and Morocco’s stubborn insistence on handing over the handling of the Sahara issue to the African Union in order to avoid the UN. Most African heads of state have an unwillingness to sidestep further divisiveness to the continental body and there is no way the AU can resolve it, as there are other fish to fry.

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Diplomacy of open hostility, for example the refusal to authorize exchange meetings between academics, the entry ban on Moroccan journalists to cover the Mediterranean Games, etc. A symphony of despair is growing. Could it be preparing Algerian public opinion for unilateral military action against Morocco? In any case, the deadlock of the regime to offer other happy opportunities to the fraternal Algerian people after 60 years of its glorious struggle for freedom and dignity must be taken seriously. The international community is taken as a witness.