Morocco/Algeria: The permanent state of rupture

From all points of view, the spectacle was desolate. A team of young Moroccan players ready to take off for Algeria to participate in an African championship, awaited the deliverance which was not to come. The images went around the world. They have crystallized in social networks the irrational impasses that currently mark relations between Morocco and Algeria.

Like a Chinese torture, the simple flight authorization necessary for their plane had not come. It was retained by cacochymic generals, preferring scandal, rupture, the demonstration of hatred to a normal, logical and rational attitude which would have been the opening, even temporary, of their airspace, the time of a pan-African sports competition. .

To that, the Algerian regime preferred shame, division, exclusion. He gave to the eyes of the whole world, African and Arab, a spectacle of infinite sadness.

In this political tussle with Morocco, it is the Algerian regime that leaves feathers. While the circle of those who knew of his pathological condition was limited, the scandal of his irrational and assumed hatred became global.

In the space of a few weeks, the Algerian regime has given the world the face of a country where hatred against Morocco is its only fuel and its only ambition. His attitude towards the Moroccan football team for the U23s was a model of detestation.

Algiers thus gives the world proof that its regime is capable of sacrificing its own interests provided that this deprives Morocco of any exposure to international light. This tells us about his arsonist determination and his disposition to cross all taboos, to consider all scenarios to satisfy his morbid whims and grudges.

This attitude of all-out rupture with Morocco, of displaying almost pleasurable hatred, is relatively new in Algeria. During the Bouteflika years, an icy wall, a mute distancing were certainly erected between the two countries, but implicit red lines were allowed on both sides. A form of media and political restraint limited the room for maneuver of the Algerian propaganda machine.

Today few Algerian voices applaud the Algerian decision to exclude Morocco from this African tournament. Some spokespersons for the offices of hatred, identified by their neurotic journey and identity. The majority of Algerians have curled up in a silence where shame is mixed with impotence.

The liberation of hate speech is a particular specificity of the Tebboune era. Since its installation by the military at the head of the Algerian state, hatred of Morocco has become a structuring obsession of its diplomatic vision. Like an old bull chained by his own handicaps, he rejects every morning whiffs of disenchantment with regard to his Moroccan neighbor. It is no longer a question of a passing mood linked to particular circumstances, but of a State practice voluntarily assumed.

It is true that the risk of war and military deflagration between the two countries seems today excluded by the great connoisseurs of this region, such as President Emmanuel Macron who delivers his vision: “I do not believe that Morocco and Algeria have this prospect of war. The tension is there, real, and, what is alarming, it is when the tension becomes structuring of the national fact and the political life on both sides”. However, it is difficult to imagine the way to get these relationships out of the rut of hatred and ruptures.

Most of the international mediations between Rabat and Algiers have failed. The Algerian regime refuses to consider the slightest concession to welcome the hand of reconciliation extended by Morocco. He prefers the logic of escalation, of threats to that of compromise and agreement.

No doubt we must face the facts, the failure of these mediations, even the most prestigious, is explained by the very nature of the Algerian regime. Without internal legitimacy as shown by the record rate of abstention in the elections, permanently threatened by a muted national challenge, this regime perceives its survival and its continuity only through the creation and maintenance of an external enemy.

In the name of his fight against this external enemy, he hopes to mobilize internally and silence dissonance. Reconciliation with Morocco and even the reduction in the intensity of its tension automatically means the end of a regime increasingly isolated in its own paranoia.

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