Algeria’s Ministry of National Defense has accused Morocco and Moroccan media of “spreading fake news” about the participation of the Algerian army in the French-led Takuba Task Force in the Sahel.
“Some parties and spokespersons of the discord have relayed through their pages and subversive accounts on social networks unfounded allegations, uttering that […] the National People’s Army is preparing to send troops to participate in military missions outside our national borders under the leadership of foreign powers, within the framework of the G5 Sahel,” said the defense ministry in a statement published on February 21.
“This is false and inadmissible,” it claimed.
The Algerian army’s participation in the Takuba Task Force, however, was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron himself. It was not a “propaganda” created by Morocco and Moroccan media, as the Algerian defense ministry claimed.
During a recent press conference about the G5 Sahel Summit, Macron celebrated the commitment of several countries to join the Takuba Task Force, including Algeria.
“We have also received confirmation of Algerian and Moroccan recommitments [to the Takuba Task Force],” he announced.
Morocco has been open about its full commitment to security and stability in the Sahel region. Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani attended the latest G5 Sahel Summit to reaffirm Morocco’s resolve to contribute to regional stability.
Algeria, meanwhile, appears to be in denial about its commitment to the Takuba Task Force, despite Macron’s public announcement that the Algerian military has confirmed its participation.
Based on its statement, the Algerian Ministry of Defense appeared to get on the defensive because, besides its usual hostility towards Morocco, it does not want the Algerian army to be seen as “receiving instructions from foreign powers.”
“Some parties […] have relayed […] unfounded allegations, uttering that the actions and operations carried out by the military institution, internally and externally, respond to agendas and instructions from foreign parties,” the statement said.
The reasons behind the denial are unclear, but the Algerian army seems to not want its involvement with the Takuba Task Force to be public, especially since the military alliance is led by France, Algeria’s colonizer for more than 130 years.
The Algerian Ministry of Defense did not miss the opportunity to attack Morocco and Moroccan media, using overly-aggressive language.
“Fake news like this can only come from ignorant people paid by the services of the Moroccan Makhzen and Zionists,” the official statement said.