Rabat – Algeria has begun to build a border wall at the Moroccan-Algerian border.
The announcement comes soon after Morocco revealed its plan to launch its first reconnaissance satellite on November 8.
The official aim of the wall is to fight against drug trafficking and strengthen the country’s internal security, reported local new outlet Algerie Focus. The wall will include a technological surveillance system with a network of cameras and radar designed in Algeria in partnership with a German firm.
According to the news outlet, acommission composed of senior officers, senior officials from the Algerian government, public works, information and telecommunications has been set up to oversee the construction of the “high-tech” wall.
Algeria’s move likely came as a reaction to Morocco’s plan to launch its first satellite, dubbed EO Sat 1, which is aimed to enhance Morocco’s security capabilities.
The satellite, expected to be launched in Kourou, French Guiana on November 8, will aid in clamping down on crime, including smuggling, and in conducting surveillance of armed groups like Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
According to Algerie Focus, the Algerian project has seen delays before, but was re-launched recently after tensions escalated between the two countries.
Earlier in October, Algeria’s Minister of Foreign, Affairs Abdelkader Messahel, publicly accused Morocco of “laundering drug money in Sub-Saharan Africa.” He also pointed his finger at Morocco’s state-owned airline, Royal Air Maroc (RAM), saying that the airline “carry something other than passengers,” referring to cannabis.
Messahel’s claims were supported by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, who said that he is “100 percent behind” the allegations made by his minister of foreign affairs.
Following Messahel’s allegations, Morocco’s Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a press release strongly condemning the official statements.
The ministry said that the allegations made by the Algerian minister showed a lack of knowledge regarding the Moroccan banking system and the rules of the international civil aviation.