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Moroccans to march for the reopening of border between Algeria and the kingdom

Launched on social media after the Algerian football team managed to reach the Africa Cup of Nations’ finale, a march will be organized Saturday to call for the reopening of land border between Algeria and Morocco.

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The Morocco-Algeria border. / Ph. DR

Sometimes it is hard to keep politics out of football, especially for Moroccans neighboring the land border with Algeria. The inhabitants of almost ten towns in eastern Morocco will be marching toward the Morocco-Algeria border, Saturday, right after the Algeria vs. Senegal Africa Cup of Nations game, scheduled for Friday.

To celebrate the victory of the Algerian football team and hail the relations that tie them to Algerians, these Moroccans will be calling for the reopening of the border that has been closed for 25 years.

The march, launched by local associations and scheduled for Saturday morning, went viral on social media, EFE wrote on Tuesday.

Oujda-based activist Hassane Ammari, who is also one of the people behind this march, confirmed to Yabiladi that a meeting will be held on Friday to prepare for the initiative.

Border opening as a national demand

«For now, we have thought of two border points : The Oujda-Maghnia and Saidia-Marsa Ben M’Hidi border points», Ammari said, adding that the Figuig-Beni Ounif border point might also join the list.

The activist stressed that «this march will mainly call for the reopening of border, but will also demand the creation of a humanitarian bridge for the families», who have their loved ones in Algeria and vice versa.

«The situation of the families living in Morocco and in the other side of the border is getting worse», Ammari argued. To the activist, the border which has been closed since 1994 has had a toll on the economy of the two neighboring regions in both Morocco and Algeria.

On the other side of the border, other associations are willing to help, Ammar reported. «Algerian activists are willing to coordinate with us for a parallel march in Algeria», he added.

This is not the first time that the eastern region of Morocco hosts similar initiatives. According to Ammar, three marches were held in March 2019 and in August and July 2018 for the same purposes.

«We must put pressure on the two sides to open border and make of it a popular demand», Ammar concluded.

For the record, Morocco and Algeria closed their common border, in 1994, when a bomb went off in a Marrakech hotel. The Kingdom blamed Algeria for the attack while the latter responded by closing the border.

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