Algeria to review Morocco relations after 'hostile acts'

Algeria to review relations with Morocco after 'hostile acts'
2 min read
Algeria has accused regional rival Morocco of responsibility for deadly wildfires that broke out in the country this month.
Relations between Algeria and Morocco have been tense for decades [Getty]

Algeria will review its relations with neighbouring Morocco, which it accuses of involvement in deadly fires that have ravaged the North African country, a presidency statement said Wednesday.

"The incessant hostile acts carried out by Morocco against Algeria have necessitated the review of relations between the two countries," the Algerian statement said.

There would also be an "intensification of security controls on the western borders" with Morocco, the statement added.

Algeria is reeling from the devastation caused by dozens of forest fires in multiple sites that broke out amid a blistering heatwave on August 9, leaving at least 90 people dead, including 33 soldiers.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said most of the fires were of "criminal" origin.

The decision to review relations with Rabat was made during an extraordinary meeting of the country's security council, chaired by Tebboune.

The statement provided no further details about what the review might mean.

Algerian authorities have appeared to point the finger for the fires at the independence movement of the mainly Berber region of Kabylie, which extends along the Mediterranean coast east of the capital Algiers.

As well as the Paris-based Movement for Self-determination of Kabylie (MAK), Algiers has accused the Islamist-inspired Rachad movement of involvement.

Algiers classified both as a "terrorist organisation" in May.

The authorities also accuse the groups of involvement in the lynching of a man falsely accused of arson, an incident that sparked outrage. The mob also set the victim on fire.

The blazes burned tens of thousands of hectares of forest, with emergency services on Wednesday declaring all the fires had been extinguished.

Relations between Algiers and Rabat have been fraught in past decades, especially over the flashpoint issue of the disputed Western Sahara.