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Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means in august algeria broke off relations with morocco accusing the country of several offenses some plausible and some hysterical.

This is only the latest episode in one of the world’s most self-destructive conflicts six decades ago algeria and morocco looked primed to turn the page in africa’s independence era regrettably instead of working together the two spent over half a century locked in a high-stakes rivalry their shared border has been closed since 1994.

both nations have spent tens of billions of dollars on military procurements attempting to achieve regional supremacy neither side is any closer to outmatching the other just as neither is willing to let go of old habits now in reaction to the closure of diplomatic ties there is talk of shutting down airspaces and energy pipelines while also increasing military presence on the borders though conflict may be inevitable combat is optional at first glance morocco and algeria look almost indistinguishable in national identity,

they occupy the same corner of africa and have comparable levels of populations both perform similarly in economic indexes and they share strong arab barber muslim and even french influences back in the 1960s it was easy to imagine these two countries working together for the prosperity of the region unfortunately that is not what happened the two countries developed along strikingly different ideologies leading to conflict not cooperation the origins of the moroccan algerian rivalry date back to the colonial era.

when the french conquered algeria in 1830 morocco stirred up a rebellion against the occupation a decade later france responded by crushing the moroccan army and then annexing parts of moroccan territories near the algerian border these regions now designated as the provinces bashar and tinduf became part of france not algeria the french however had no use for the areas and therefore never demarcated the boundaries in 1950 when precious metals and minerals were discovered in the provinces france transferred to regions to algerian sovereignty 

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