By Faith Nyasuguta
Algeria has opted to ‘rethink’ its relations with neighboring Morocco that has been accused of involvement in the deadly wildfires that have ravaged north Algeria.
This was revealed in a statement by the Algerian presidency on Wednesday.
“The incessant hostile acts perpetrated by Morocco against Algeria, have necessitated the review of relations between the two countries and the intensification of security controls at the western borders,” the statement read without providing details.
The decision by Algeria was made during a unique meeting set to assess the situation in the country following the recent wildfires that led to the deaths of some 90 people in the country’s north.
The meeting by the Algerian High-Security Council, and chaired by the Head of State Abdelmadjid Tebboune hinted at most fires being of “criminal” origin.
Algerian officials pointed fingers at the Paris-based Kabyle independence organization for involvement in the fires.
It was also blamed for the lynching of a man falsely accused of arson in the northeastern region of Kabylia, the area most affected by the fires.
The council further implicated the London-based Islamo-conservative Rashad movement.
On May 18, the two movements, the bête noires of the Algerian government, were classified under “terrorist organizations” and are illegal in the country.
This month, forest fires have ripped across North Africa but have been the fiercest in Algeria leading to damage of property and casualties.
The emergency services have however reported that the majority of Algeria’s forest fires are ‘under control’.
The nation’s north area has over four million hectares (10 million acres) of forest, a region ravaged by fires every summer.
In 2020, some 44,000 hectares went up in flames.