Possible sources of Moroccan conduct

As I have already discussed Algeria’s reasoning on the Mauritania coup, it is appropriate to discuss Morocco’s. From what I can tell, Morocco has three main priorities in Mauritania: (1) Avoiding the possibility of “chaos” on its southernmost borders, (2) avoiding the return of Sidi, and (3) asserting itself as a regional problem solver and power broker. Their primary assumption seems to be that despite their overwhelming displeasure with the coup, no world power is so strongly interested in the country as to forcibly restore the previous government. Eventually, the world will accept the coup as a fact of life and they will normalize their policy towards the junta. Thus, it is best to cultivate a favorable disposition in the regime presently in place so that when the rest of the world does reconcile with the junta, which would ideally take place by way of Morocco, the Mauritanians will have to pay the Kingdom back in some manner or the other.

Thus, their offer yesterday to assist the Mauritanians in easing up the Western position on the coup. If their strategy works, Sidi, whom the Moroccans saw as hostile to their position in the Sahara, will not come back, regardless of the efforts of his PM or of other domestic and international actors. The junta (or whomever takes its place, assuming the said transition flow from it, and not against it) will therefore be inclined to take a less hostile stance toward Morocco in on the Sahara.

The prospect of the total break down of order in Mauritania, either by way of civil war, warfare with al-Qaeda or the like, is not especially likely, but always a possibility. Moroccan fear is twofold: The break down of order in northern Mauritania would mean the expansion of areas from which the Polisario could operate, as there are tribal and political sympathies for the organization there, and the region could also become an area from which al-Qaeda or other international criminal networks could operate. The Moroccans evidently believe that Abdel Aziz is the best candidate to ward of such misfortune. By supporting him they gain a potential ally, a couple of prestige points, and move the balance of power in the region away from Algeria. (It should also be noted that Senegal, a Moroccan ally, also has yet to condemn the coup.)

If this works, the Moroccans will have cause for celebration. If it fails they will find themselves ever more isolated from Africa, once again positioning themselves on the other side of the law and order discussion. And they will have tossed the Mauritanians back to the Algerian side of the Sahara debate.

38 thoughts on “Possible sources of Moroccan conduct

  1. this article is leaning too much toward the Algerian position, which makes it very biased, there are plenty of assumptions yet to be verified that the author make, but I won’t go over them. when I was reading I was expecting a just and accurate analysis of the situation but what really pissed me off is the “ONCE AGAIN positioning themselves on the other side of the law and order discussion” sentence.
    mister very_amateur_writer, any impartial professional analyst specialized in geopolitics will fairly avoid such slanted and very revealing sentences

  2. Ahmad:
    mister very_amateur_writer, any impartial professional analyst specialized in geopolitics will fairly avoid such slanted and very revealing sentences

    That sentence merely states that it would put Morocco on a difference side of the debate from the rest of Africa when it came to issues of law and order. They differ on the interpretation of borders and self-determination already. What is so slanted about stating this fact?

  3. The author certainly does take a position that sides with the Algerian side, which is not surprising considering it is plainly acknowledged in his “About TMND” page that his blog does take the Algerian point of view.

    Anyway, I strongly disagree with your side of the story.

  4. What exactly is “sidi”?

    2 Kal:

    “the Mauritanians will have to pay the Kingdom back in some manner or the other”

    ^ Does that mean the Junta, ideally, are sock puppets for direct Moroccan interest? Not sure if you are saying that Moroc has its hand in Mauritanian pockets, or if you are straight shooting.

  5. i think mr _amateur_writer trying to convince himself that morocco is the guilty part on what’s happening in mauritania and morocco is the one who orchestrated the (coup d’etat) plus africa including algeria and it polisario are on the side of the law and order while morocco is an outlaw country.
    but mr amateur_writer forgot to tell himself that the majority of the african leaders happens to be in power because of the (coup d’etat) and some of them are changing the law of their countries so the leaders can be reelected more than 10 times.
    now morocco is about to be in big trouble with africa ,i just heard from my sources that the african union is setting up a set of sanctions against morocco including arm embargo , two no fly zone and a total isolation by the african union headed by poliarsso.
    as they say speculate to accumulate

  6. to mounir , i’m sorry if your french is carp . but really you didn’t understand my comment about the embargo , i’m just mucking about with the writer , because he seems to think that morocco will be isolated by the african.
    so excuse my chinese.

  7. Number 1. The “About” page states that the blog focuses on Algeria. Not that it “takes the Algerian side” in any conflict or issue.

    Number 2. Nowhere have I ever said that Morocco orchestrated, is to blame, “guilty” for the coup, or that the junta is a sock puppet of the Moroccan regime. I stated that the Moroccans are attempting to gain influence over it by supporting it when most other states are not. On the Mauritanians eventually “paying them back,” this pay back would be the intended result of the Moroccan policy at present. This post is not saying that the Moroccans have been successful or that the Mauritanians are buying into it. Read some of the other posts here for background.

    Number 3. With regards to Morocco being isolated from the African Union, it already is. It lacks membership and many African states reject its claim to the Sahara. This is a fact. Its support for the coup also makes it

    Number 4. Those of you commenting here for the first time should read the “Comments policy” page, because you’re in violation of it. This blog has no time or space for insults or bad humor. You can expect to be banned if you continue to post nonsensical and insulting comments. If you introduce yourself by showing disrespect, you will meet a similar response.

    Number 5. “Sidi” refers to the former President of Mauritania Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, overthrown by the Mauritanian military recently.

    Number 6. If you dislike or don’t agree with what I write, compose a polite and reasoned to response it. If you cannot do that, don’t come round here.

    Thanks.

  8. I too was under the impression that Morocco is/has been isolated on the continent for not joining the AU. The colective Islands of Cabo Verde are members of the AU, which really speaks loudly about Morocco’s identity as a nation and their progressive plans. Cape Verde will be admitted in to the EU decades before any theoretical conception of Morocco being so opposed to relations with that country. In fact, there have already been in place serious proposals, with an EU member (Portugal obviously) supporting it, another reason for the discontent and disdain toward Morocco. I don’t know the prospects or future of the pan-Arab Maghreb Union identity, but it certainly does not seem to be as strong as the reactionary sentiments received from their neighboring African nations.

  9. Aeron, i think you are at the west!
    that means you anderstod everything upside down, lol
    cabo verde! will be EU, lol maybe in 600 years.
    another thing morocco is negociating an advanced status with The EU, this is a Fact, morocco is a special EU partner, cabo verde not, so which is near the EU member Morocco or Cabo verde?
    morocco gives money to cabo verde, to develope thiere infrastructures, so i don’t think that THe GREAT CABO VERDE will one day be part of EU, morocco, is a question of time, morocco and spain will be connected by train in 2025, the project is a life and i don’t think that cabo ver Sir! is so developped as morocco.

  10. Morocco as a regional leader have to protect the stability, and the good function of other countries around him, so it is normal to help Mauritania,(the opposite what algeria did) Algeria support all kind of separatisme in morocco, mali, and niger, so yes morocco try to construct, and algeria try to distruct.
    another thing, the write spoke about isolation , which one, at the last News algeria is the isolated country in the region!
    morocco is the best foregin investors in africa, better that SA.
    the african Union morocco withrawn his membership, so the africans need morocco to solve some problems not the opposit, morocco solved many african issues, so What morocco did in africa, is more that what all AU did since its creation, so the Algerian petrodollar , to establish instabelity is a success, is for this we see putshs in african balck nations. so yes morocco is practesing the role of moderator, and peace keeper, we don’t have to forget, that thank’s to morocco Europe back door is protected from terror, so yes we protect Europe and African friends.

  11. Jalal,

    Just a question: Which country in North Africa has invaded two of its neighbors and claimed the territory of all the countries with which it shares borders?

  12. 2 jalal nali:

    Cape Verde is ranked 102 in Human Development Index, as opposed to Morocco’s position at 126. http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/

    HDI includes variables such as Life expectancy, GDP per capita (Gross Domestic Product), Literacy rates, and educational attainment.

    Besides the fact that Cabo/Cape Verde ha s a more successful diaspora, they also have a higher GDP (nominal value) which stands at #100, which includes exchange rates such as currency equivalent to the European Euro! Where does Morocco stand? Well, #106. In fact, even if i drop the formula which uses the value of exchange ration, Cape verde’s GDP Purchasing Power trails behind Morocco at #123 (3,243.794) to #115 (4,075.615).

    That is embarrassing considering that the Moroccan population of 31,224,000 (according to U.N estimates), while Cape Verde has a domestic population of 530,000 (according to the United Nations).

    Take a look at what Freedom House ranks your silly country in terms of political freedom
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/Chart89File147.pdf
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/Chart88File149.pdf

    30 nations behind Cape Verde. Your government and political frame work is corrupt! If any African nation gains admittance into the EU, it will be Cape Verde due to the political and economic partnerships with Sub Saharan Africa. Whether it be resources or modern day colonialism (globalization), Europe yearns to reclaim ties with Africa, and the Maghreb is not mediator to initiate progress towards that goal.

  13. 2 jalal nali:

    Cape Verde is ranked 102 in Human Development Index, as opposed to Morocco’s position at 126. http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/

    HDI includes variables such as Life expectancy, GDP per capita (Gross Domestic Product), Literacy rates, and educational attainment.

    Besides the fact that Cabo/Cape Verde has a more successful diaspora, and they still have a higher GDP (nominal value) which stands at #100, which includes exchange rates such as currency equivalent to the European Euro! Where does Morocco stand? Well, #106. In fact, even if i drop the formula which uses the value of exchange ratio, Cape Verde’s GDP Purchasing Power trails behind Morocco at #123 (3,243.794) to #115 (4,075.615).

    That is embarrassing considering that the Moroccan population of 31,224,000 (according to U.N estimates), while Cape Verde has a domestic population of 530,000 (according to the United Nations).

    Take a look at what Freedom House ranks your silly country in terms of political freedom
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/Chart89File147.pdf
    http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/Chart88File149.pdf

    30 nations behind Cape Verde. Your government and political frame work is corrupt! If any African nation gains admittance into the EU, it will be Cape Verde due to the political and economic partnerships with Sub Saharan Africa. Whether it be resources or modern day colonialism (globalization), Europe yearns to reclaim ties with Africa, and the Maghreb is not mediator to initiate progress towards that goal.

  14. Kal, The Response is Algeria,
    is for this they are buying like mad people weapon, they know that mororcco will claim his territories stolen by Algerians, we recover the sahara, now Ceuta and Mleilla, and last Algeria, morocco is recovering his soverinty, simply.

  15. When did Algeria invade its neighbors? Morocco invaded Algeria and the Sahara. These are historical facts. What territory did Algeria steal from Morocco?

  16. jalal nali / real sahara watch / other signatures — Aren’t you forgetting something? Not mentioning northern Mali, the Senegal Valley and, most of all, the lost Atlantis we know as Perejil, in your annexation-to-do-list — frankly, it is nothing less than a brutal assault upon Morocco’s sacred territorial integrity!

    To jail, you subversive fiend!

  17. Kal you are enought adolt to know as you mensioned historical facts that algeria stole moroccan terrotory in the north and the shouth, Algeria stoled and annexed and killed the toureg, for thiere territory, as they are doing with the kabylian right now, and the world seems blind to the attaks in tizi wezzu or bijaya in kabilian cities.

  18. Mr Alle, i think you should balme your country holland in suriname too, wash you derty cloths before,criticising otheres.
    Perijil is at 10metters from moroccan shores, what are youtalking about, i though you had a high education level, but i can see the opposit.
    you didn’t discover any secret, Jalal nali My Real Name, and REAL SAHARA WATCH, INVEST IN MOROCCO ‘ i won a prize for this blog’ and many other comments in news papers and E-news, you got my personal photo, i don’t hide to defend my country territorial integrety, or my king.
    I don’t expect any money or Thenks form any one I do it simply because, I believe in my personal research, I don’t need any one to convence me of the opposit of my convictions.
    not like some people arround the net, always blaming each other this one lie that one is paid, and why they hide thier identity, if they are sure about claims, i could be scared because polisario is considered a semi-terrorist organisation, ‘kind a mafia’ any way the truth will win, in two years or 200 years, Morocco is a country with more than 1200 years as a existing colture, i don’t think that time afraid us, we will survive, like centuries before.

  19. Jalal,

    When you post here, you should use one name and one name alone. I will delete your posts if you post under multiple names.

    Furthermore, what territory of Morocco or the Tuareg did Algeria annex? (Algeria’s borders have been what they are since independence). Specifically.

  20. This blog sucks, why am i not allowed to post my rebuttal after an attack? I knew this would happen considering my argument defacing the value of the Maghreb’s most economically and politically progressive country. Knowing this would happen i saved that post in a txt document. When i get back to my work station i will resubmit it. Hopefully you allow it to go through Nouri.

  21. Mr Kall do you think that there’s a legal border between morocc and algeria, rocognized by the UN, check the maps, don’t blame me of you ignorance about this fact! you can check the UN documentations or send an email they will repaly in 25 days, if you are not well informed please quit this blog, and let people well informed discuss ‘smartley’

  22. Jalal,

    Answer the question, rather than posting irrelevant, nonsensical and ungrammatical insults. You’re beginning to bore me. If you can’t substantiate your arguments, don’t make them (at least not here).

    Furthermore, I know for a fact that you do use multiple names here, because I have seen your IP address on multiple usernames.

    Aaron,

    I’m not blocking anyone’s posts, especially not yours. I found your posts in the “spam” bin in the admin panel. Try to watch out when posting links (in lists or the like) like you did, because the blog reads that as being characteristic of “spam” and put them into a big folder with a bunch of other far less useful posts that come from bots. They’re not showing up after I’ve approved them as not spam so you’ll have to post them again. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience.

  23. Kal,
    I think Jalal is speaking about Tindouf, which was annexed to Algeria from Morocco during the French regime after 1912. Morocco refused to negociate its borders with the French in 1956 and got a promise, Ferhat Abbas to get Tindouf back and bet on the Algerians. After the independence of Algeria in 1962 BenBella sidelined Ferhat Abbas and refused to fulfill the latter’s promise to Morocco to give Tindouf back.

    And no, Sahara was never a country. It was a territory under the Spanish just like the North of Morocco.

    I actually thought your article was pretty fair but your comments showed a great deal of bias.

    Cheers my fellow Moor,

  24. I think Jalal is speaking about Tindouf, which was annexed to Algeria from Morocco during the French regime after 1912. Morocco refused to negociate its borders with the French in 1956 and got a promise, Ferhat Abbas to get Tindouf back and bet on the Algerians. After the independence of Algeria in 1962 BenBella sidelined Ferhat Abbas and refused to fulfill the latter’s promise to Morocco to give Tindouf back.

    Algeria did not annex that territory (France did), and that territory was not a part of Morocco at the time any more than the Sahara was. It was “given’ to Algeria because there had not been any formal agreement as to its status under French, Moroccan, or any other country’s sovereignty (as far as the rest of the world was concerned). The area south of Bechar was territorially ambiguous until the French drew out the borders in 1912. Abbas agreed to negotiate the southern borders, but he made no promises as to the outcome of those negotiations or that Algeria would “give” any of its territory to Morocco. By independence, he was not in a position to be negotiating any territory either and the government that came after his was not in a mood to so either (and under no legal obligation to). That era, though, is long gone. The rules of Africa say he who has at independence keeps, unless there is some legal process leading otherwise.

    As for my bias, surely I do have some biases as all people do. I did my best to keep them out this article (it is not based off of made up stories; it is compiled from talk to Mauritanians and from news reports of what happened; this is not my heart speaking but reality). Jalal has been trolling on my site for close to a year posting under multiple names and making spurious accusations as to my integrity as a writer, my motives and so on. So I let gloves come off when he posts, as he makes no attempt to hide his biases.

    Best to you, sister Moor

  25. Algeria was under French control long before 1912. Those territories annexed to it were a part of Morocco and Morocco could have drawn its borders in 1956 with the French. But like I mentioned earlier, Moroccans bet on the Algerians and they lost the bet. But yes, that era is long gone so there’s no need to even mention it. At the same time, it’s only fair to reciprocate and cut the Moroccans some slack occasionally.

    As for Jalal, his opinions remain his own and I hope they didn’t enforce any reader’s bias against Moroccan people.

    Best to you too fellow Moor,

  26. Interesting debate that I am seeing for the first time. Am a Mauritanian. Please continue. Wished if our leaders can debate like this. Will be visiting quite often, with only one identity:tidinit of Boutilimit, Mauritania.

    On another note, the Declaration of the AU on 10 November 2008 does not leave space for the junta in Nouakchott to survive longer. Since September, opposition to the junta in Mauritania is mounting and mounting. No one should reject completely what Kal has said. I am coming to the belief that the 11 soldiers and their guide killed near Zuerat is done by Morocco to blame Algeria. This despite AQMI or BAQMI that does not exist as Algeria and the US want us to believe. Despite opposition from some of you, I think that Jeremy Keenan is right on the trouble issues in our sub-region.

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