Dozens of Syrian refugees stranded at Morocco-Algeria border

Dozens of Syrian refugees stranded at Morocco-Algeria border
Volunteers provide food and blankets for a group of Syrian refugees who remain caught in the middle of the latest row between the rival North African nations.
2 min read
27 April, 2017
Morocco and Algeria have yet to agree who will take in the Syrian refugees [AFP]
Around 50 Syrian refugees have been stranded in the Morocco-Algeria border zone amid an ongoing dispute between the two neighbouring countries over the group's attempted border crossing.

Earlier this week, Rabat and Algiers traded accusations over allegations that the refugees were forced to make the crossing attempt.

"Separated into two groups, they are surviving under very difficult conditions thanks to help from some activists and the local community," Moulay Mohammad Ammari told AFP.

He added that food and blankets were being provided by volunteers, but added that "this is not enough".

A woman in the group reportedly gave birth over the weekend in the border zone's rugged terrain without proper medical support.

On Friday, Morocco accused Algeria of expelling the Syrian group across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig.

Neither country has agreed to take in the group of Syrian refugees.

The two nations summoned each other's envoys in the latest row between the neighbours, who have kept their shared 1,500 km land border closed since 1994. 

Since the 'Sand War' border disputes of the 1960s, Rabat and Algiers have shared a relationship fraught with tension, particularly over Western Sahara – a disputed former Spanish colony.

Morocco annexed the territory in 1975, however Algeria has supported and hosted the Polisario separatist group which is held in contempt by Rabat.