Altercation of Morocco - Algeria in Castries over the Sahara
By: Ahmed Fathi
Castries: Thousands of miles away from North Africa, on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, during a C24 decolonization seminar, Morocco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Omar Hilale, rebuked Algeria's Ambassador Nadir Larabaoui's remarks to Bahia Ghalla, Vice President of the Dakhla Oued Eddahab region in the Moroccan Sahara, which is recognized by the United States and other countries as Moroccan territory, because Ghalla mentioned the human rights situation in the Tinduff camps in Algeria. MAP reported
Ambassador Hilale slammed his Algerian counterpart, describing his attack as intimidation and lies, and his questioning of who Ms. Ghalla represents, saying she represents "hundreds of thousands of the Saharawi people who are attached to their Moroccanness, and that the 20,000 Sahrawi at the Tinduff camps and should be released to return home to Morocco."
Ambassador Hilale went on to refute Algeria's position as an observer on the Sahara, citing their involvement in financing, arming, and providing political support to the Polisario. He also questioned why Algeria recalled its ambassador from Madrid after Spain announced its position in favor of the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative," and described it as the most serious, realistic, and credible offer for resolving a decades-long dispute over the area.
Following the Green March in 1975, Algeria retaliated by expelling 35,000 Moroccans from its territory, dividing entire families; this is deemed to be the longest period of time that two Arab countries' borders have remained closed.