The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) has just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary.
But can we genuinely celebrate the anniversary of a regional entity which, apart from a handful of bureaucratic structures filled by career diplomats, only exists in a formal capacity on the paper on which the Constitutive Act of the ‘Treaty of Marrakech’ was drawn up?
While this thirtieth anniversary passed by completely unnoticed by the peoples of the Maghreb, their respective partisan political institutions and the media, the Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, alone deemed it worthy to make public and official mention of it, marking the occasion with a message to the King of Morocco, His Majesty Mohammed VI.
The reader will be spared the sickly-sweet convolutions that pepper this text. We will instead focus exclusively on the proposal of Algeria’s Head of State to mark the occasion with a ‘break’, for the purpose of collectively reflecting on how to revive a shared vision for the Maghreb and, consequently, its regional construction.
The Algerian authorities’ deep-seated malaise
A willingness to revive a North African vision is scarcely plausible, however, without definitively settling some essential prerequisites over which the Algerian authorities, with as much diligence as hypocrisy, have taken great care to stall for several decades.
The Arab Maghreb Union is an abortive institution precisely because the Algerian State has never consented, in almost half a century, to stop interfering and end its policy of systematically blocking Morocco’s goal of achieving national and territorial unity.
Algiers, which continues to host, finance, arm and support the mercenary Polisario separatists, is the iniquitous and sole mastermind of a hypocritical policy which consists of doing the exact opposite of its promises, declarations of faith, assurances and formal undertakings!
And it is the President himself, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has assumed the principal role, which is to issue pious platitudes on the one hand while pursuing, on the other, his viscerally anti-Moroccan designs!
This double-talk, in reality, reveals the Algerian authorities’ schizophrenic state. There is nothing to indicate that this sad state of affairs, often accompanied by paranoia, will end in the near future.
How could it be otherwise with the Algerian people preparing to go to the polls for presidential elections in which Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 81, affected by a massive stroke since 2013, will run for a fifth term?
Such behaviour is utterly surrealist and inacceptable to any rational and logical mind, so too, the fact that the entourage of a diminished President, who is unable to get about, has difficulty speaking and is isolated in a presidential complex that is as closed as was the Chinese Empire’s Forbidden City, is to impose this state of affairs on millions of our neighbour’s citizens?
Of course, the future of the Algerian people does not concern us directly because it alone is master of its own destiny and any interference in that country’s internal affairs is not permitted.
But is it really a question of ‘interference’ in showing our concern about what is happening in Algeria in the knowledge that, in reality, power has been confiscated by a camarilla dominated by President Bouteflika’s family and supported by the military high command?
Given the fact that we are neighbours as well as fellow members of the Maghreb, we surely have the right to question the consequences of a new presidential term by a man who is barely capable of mastering his thoughts which, in any case, he can no longer express?
In Algeria and across the Algerian diaspora, voices are already expressing their refusal of this latest hoax which is only permitted because the various clans jostling for power still consider that Bouteflika’s candidacy is the only one which, by default, suits them all?
Morocco, standing firm!
Do we, Moroccans, onlookers to this debacle over which Algerian citizens themselves have absolutely no control, still believe that there is any hope left in the Algerian President, a president who, on the one hand, proposes a menopausal or andropausal AMU (each to his own), while, at the same time, engages his Tindouf mercenaries to challenge our sacred national unity in a variety of ways?
In fact, regarding this relationship in which official Algerian discourse acts as a conduit for its intellectual dyslexia, the Kingdom has taken great care to implement policies that are designed to protect its interests and consolidate its territorial integrity.
And, despite the fact that, since the start of the 1970s, obstacles have been systematically put in our way, Algeria has never been able to prevent, at the local level, our national flag from being flown uninterruptedly in our Southern Provinces!
And, given the diplomatic successes across the continent, the growing achievements within the African Union, massive European parliamentary approval for the Morocco-EU agricultural and fisheries accords, allocation by the US Federal Budget of loans for our Southern Provinces that are to be managed and underwritten by Rabat, everything would suggest that the Kingdom is beginning to reap the rewards of its policy of persevering in defending its inalienable rights.
It is impossible to predict where the current Algerian authorities’ decline will lead, as it disappears into the darkness of irrationality and pig-headedness.
But Morocco will not change course and will wait, patiently and determinedly, for the wind to change direction as far as our neighbours are concerned.
So, when President Bouteflika proposes that we take a break, we would suggest that he has a rest…
Original article : https://lnt.ma/123-va-lalgerie/