Tensions between Algiers and Rabat are on the rise due to propaganda campaigns issued by Tebboune's government

Argelia da un paso al frente e insta a China y Francia a “protegerse de Marruecos”

photo_camera AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - French President Emmanuel Macron and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune review the guard of honour at Algiers airport on August 25, 2022, at the start of an official

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared to the local press at the end of last year that "the break with Morocco was an alternative to war between the two countries". If we analyse the events that followed these declarations, the first conclusion we can draw is that the Algerian government is better off living in confrontation in order to keep its citizens on a war footing with their "neighbour" and prevent them from reflecting on their problems. The latest move by Algiers has been to draw attention to the fact that it is urging France and China to "protect themselves from Morocco". 

It is common knowledge that China and France possess nuclear weapons and are, year after year since the end of the Second World War, among the top ten armies in the world, so once again this is a political rather than a strategic move. In fact, it is no coincidence that these two countries are being called upon, since the former has left the African continent aside, among other reasons, due to the ineffectiveness of certain governments, and the latter, China, is the continent's largest investor and a public enemy of the United States, Morocco's main ally.


The Algerian military is struggling to find an adequate countermeasure to the alleged threat posed by Moroccan drones, including all the latest-generation Israeli drones - such as the Hermes900 drones - delivered to Morocco in huge numbers since 2021. So far, drones have been used to deal heavy blows to the Polisario Front's armed militias by neutralising many of their equipment and numerous armed units - many of them of Iranian origin. These acts, revealed exclusively by Maghreb Intelligence, have led the Algerian army to accelerate its negotiations abroad to urgently acquire anti-drone detection radars in response to the growing "threat" posed by Moroccan drones. 

According to the Arabic media outlet Said Chengriha, the head of Algeria's armed forces insisted to his French military counterparts during a strategic visit to Paris at the end of January that Algeria urgently arm itself with the same radars that the French army had recently begun experimenting with by placing them on armoured vehicles that shoot down drones. Due to the new political and diplomatic crisis provoked by the so-called case of Amira Bouraoui, this French-Algerian adversary evacuated by France from Tunisian territory where she was forcibly abducted to be extradited to Algiers, negotiations with French partners have taken the form of "a serious fire", in the words of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron. 


Because of this impasse, the Algerian army was forced to look to China in an effort to acquire anti-drone systems. On the other hand, it turns out that Chinese suppliers are hesitant to sell these technologies given that China has become one of the world's leading sellers of military drones, particularly in North Africa. The Chinese do not seem convinced of the wisdom of this strategy, even though Algeria and Morocco are among their customers and sell systems that exploit the failures of their own drones. Because of the great threat posed by the use of advanced military drones in the area, this puts the Algerian army in a very dangerous situation from a purely tactical point of view. 

When it comes to war in these technology-driven times, the external image is the most important asset. In fact, it is a new strategy of communication and psychological warfare in which the Algerian regime wants to surf on the anti-Moroccan wave that arose in France and Europe as a result of the "alleged" scandals in the European Parliament, which, despite the commotion generated, have not yet been proven. To do so, the Algerian government wants to find an original means of communication by sending digital messages to a young audience and to consumers of content that generates a stir on social networks. 


While Algeria says it needs help, and urges China and France to protect itself, this is just another propaganda exercise by Algiers. This is clear from the numerous trips made during 2022 by several French bloggers to produce promotional content and videos in favour of Algeria and its tourism assets. The most famous bloggers were cordially welcomed and invited by the Algerian authorities to use them as a publicity springboard to improve Algeria's image in the eyes of European public opinion. Today, Algiers wants to use the same lethal media weapon against its Moroccan rival. 


The Algerian people are tired. Ordinary citizens only see how they have to struggle day by day to get food, only see how the trade unions cannot fight for workers' rights, only see how the government presided over by Tebboune falsifies data, only see that they receive aid from those who are favouring the armed conflict in Ukraine, and only see how things will not change, because the blame goes to the late former president of the country, because "he was the one who introduced many of the current laws", as if the current junta could do nothing about it, in what is probably the last straw for Algerian society, which in all this is just another victim. 


The discontent is general and with each passing day the "anger" of the people is growing. However, the only thing the central administration is spending time and public money on is secretly preparing to launch an unprecedented and extravagant initiative to destabilise neighbouring Morocco, which is still considered the sworn enemy by the power that controls the country, to counter the Moroccan kingdom's alleged campaigns, to further agitate stability in the region, to feed the Wagner group on the borders with Mali and to provide economic support to Russia and Iran through the purchase of military equipment.