Locals from the region are calling for an official clarification after the surprising notice.
Rabat – Locals from the city of Figuig in eastern Morocco are stunned after receiving a notice from Algeria to evacuate their farms located in El Arja, near the Algeria-Morocco borders.
Amid the confusion, many citizens are calling on the Moroccan government to clarify regarding the situation of farmers, who stand to lose their lands in El Arja, north-eastern Figuig.
Algeria, which claims the territory containing the farms, has called on the group of Moroccan farmers to evacuate the place before March 18.
Photos and videos have gone viral of locals from Figuig protesting Ageria’s move inside a Moroccan territory.
One of the videos shows a farmer who owns a big domain of palm trees.
The man emphasized he had been working in the land for three decades and was very surprised to be notified by Algerian soldiers to leave the region before March 18.
The farmer said he and his family have worked in their domain for 30 years.
“Please share this live [streaming]. This is unfortunate,” the speaker filming the live streaming said.
The filmer called on Facebook users to share the video to convey the Moroccan farmers’ cry for help.
“They told me to leave the region or else they will arrest and imprison me,” the owner of the farm said.
As the farmer dwelt on his pain and confusion, the speaker behind the mobile camera urged the Moroccan media to highlight the situation. He also called on Moroccan authorities to intervene, saying that El Arja is “a Moroccan land.”
In protest against Algeria’s ultimatum, a group of farm owners organized a sit-in this weekend; they carried banners and chanted slogans in defiance of Algeria’s demand that they leave “our lands, livelihood, and ancestral memories” behind. .
A treaty on the existing border between Algeria and Morocco does not clarify the status of the El Arja region.
The treaty dates back to 1972 and was published in 1992 in Morocco’s official gazette.
It remains to be seen whether Morocco will take action or clarify the situation in the near future.
The incident takes place amid escalation of tensions between Morocco and Algeria.
The Algerian government is insisting on harming Morocco’s territorial integrity, reiterating support for Polisario and its separatist aspirations.
Algeria also recently interfered in Morocco’s domestic affairs by repeatedly decrying its sovereign decision to establish ties with Israel.
Most recently, following Morocco’s decision to to adopt a bill legalizing the production of cannabis for therapeutic and medical use, a number of Algerian officials accused Morocco of seeking to spread “the scourge of drugs” in North Africa and Algeria in particular.