Algeria Should Build Bridges not Separation Walls with its Neighbors

At a time neighboring countries are opening borders, tearing down walls and joining forces to form strong regional blocs, Algerian rulers decide to build a separation wall and deploy high-tech sensor radars along the borders with Morocco.

According to press report, the Algerian decision to build a high-tech border wall comes after the announcement that a Moroccan spy satellite will be launched Nov.8 from the European space port of Kourou in French Guiana.

A high-level Algerian commission gathering high-ranking military officers and senior officials from the ministries of the Interior, Public Works and IT has been set up to oversee the construction of this electronic wall with the help of a German partner, said Algerian daily el Bilad.

For Algiers, the construction of such a barrier is essential and just a preventive measure. To justify it, the authorities mention security threats, including espionage, but also smuggling and drug trafficking.

Many analysts linked Algerian move to Morocco’s military satellite, which will enhance the security capabilities of the North African Kingdom in combating crime, including smuggling, and in monitoring jihadists operating in the region.

Designed as a dual civil/military system, the satellite, to be operated by Morocco, delivers very-high-resolution optical data products in record time. It can provide imagery anywhere in the world in less than 24 hrs. It also offers a wide coverage, fine detail, intensive monitoring, extensive archives and 50 cm resolution imagery.

According to some intelligence reports, Algerian generals and rulers, who spent billions of petrodollars in armaments just to flex their military muscles, got extremely worried when they learnt about the Moroccan satellite, built by Airbus defense & Space Company.

Relations between the two neighboring countries, already strained over the Sahara issue, got sourer following the last offensive remarks made by Algerian foreign minister who accused Moroccan banks of “laundering money from hashish” in Africa.

Following these remarks, Moroccan foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador to Algeria, describing Messahel’s accusations as “very serious,” ”false” and of “an unprecedented level of irresponsibility in the history of bilateral relations.”

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