The secretary general of Algeria’s National Liberation Front (FLN), Djamel Ouled Abbes, claimed that Morocco brings “enormous quantities of drugs into the Algerian territory.”
He added that his country faces “many dangerous challenges. Among the challenges mentioned by the President of the Republic is what is happening in the country currently with drugs. Our neighbors to the west, may God forgive them, and I do not think he can forgive them, are flooding us with drugs.”
The official’s statements were reported by Algerian news outlet TSA. Djamel, according to the news website, made his remarks on the sidelines of a meeting of his party’s political office on Monday, August 27.
It is not the first time Ould Abbes has accused Morocco of drug trafficking. In February, the Algerian official said that “Algeria is targeted by tons of drugs dumped at its borders,” and “These drugs are more murderous than missiles or bombs.”
Moroccan authorities have not yet responded to the latest accusation.
While Algeria is blames Morocco for drug issues, Morocco has called for more cooperation from Algeria to curb drug trafficking at borders, including in the Sahel region.
The head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) has repeatedly called for a security partnership with Algeria as the border needs more security and stability.
Ouled Abbes’ accustation appear to be an attempt to take revenge on Morocco as the kingdom has repeatedly accused its eastern neighbor of causing the conflict over Western Sahara.
Ouled Abbes’ statement came two weeks after his remarks on the conflict, in which he reaffirmed his country’s refusal to take part in the UN-led political process to find an agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict.
“Algeria, whose support for the Sahrawi cause is unwavering and non-negotiable, again reaffirms that it has nothing to do with the direct negotiations that the Security Council called for the end of this year between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco,” he said on August 15.
Drug accusations? Not the first time
Ouled Abbes’s statement echoed claims made by Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel in October 2017.
Messahel accused Moroccan banks and airlines of transporting and selling cannabis.
He also accused Morocco of “laundering drug money in sub-Saharan Africa.”
In response to the accusations, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the chargé d’affaires at the Algerian embassy to condemn Messahel’s remarks.
Moroccan officials described Algeria’s statements as “childish and irresponsible,” especially as they were made by a chief diplomat whose duty is to represent his country’s position internationally.
“These unfounded statements will not harm the credibility nor the success of the cooperation between Morocco and the African countries, which is largely saluted by the African heads of states and appreciated by the populations of the continent,” said the statement of the Moroccan ministry.
The ministry also linked Algeria’s stance with the “serious economic, political and social problems” the country has been facing recently and were made to hide Algeria’s “failures.”
What about Algerian psychotropic tablets?
For years, Morocco has complained of high numbers of psychotropic tablets from Algeria that authorities have seized.
In 2017, Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) announced that seizures of psychotropic pills from Algeria “witnessed a very alarming rise over the past years.”
DGSN said that a total of 808,022 psychotropic pills were confiscated in 2016, compared to 260,152 in 2015 and 293,282 in 2014.
Authorities noted that some of the seized pills were brands such as Rivotril and Valium.
Another hazardous brand, which is growing in the illegal drug market is “ecstasy.” Quoting Media 24’s police sources, the state-owned news agency said , “Despite the smashing of international criminal organizations for ecstasy trafficking and smuggling into Morocco, the number of seized pills grew by 5,000 percent in record time between 2014 and the first nine months of 2017.”