Rabat – After discussing Morocco’s counterterrorism strategy and international cooperation, the head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, discussed again the importance of security cooperation between Morocco and Algeria.In his interview with Moroccan television channel 2M, Khiame said that security cooperation “would benefit the two countries because there are several risks in the region.”Referring to Algeria’s position on the Western Sahara conflict, Khiame said that he is addressing Algeria as a security official and not with “a political motive.” Khiame emphasized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, saying, “No one can ever convince me that the Sahara is not Moroccan.” Khiame continued to say that Algeria’s security services do not respond when he tells them there are weapons coming from Algeria into Morocco, suggesting Algeria does not want to cooperate.He also condemned Algeria’s “ignorance” since Morocco has warned Algeria of the situation in the Sahel, where several terror organizations are active, including ISIS and Al Qaeda.Read Also: Abdelhak Khiame Explains Morocco’s Anti-Terrorism StrategyKhiame added that cooperation between the countries would ensure stability and security for both peoples. He also called on Algeria to leave politics aside because security cooperation is necessary to deter the terror threat in the Sahel and in the whole region.Khiame added that Morocco will not spare any efforts to notify Algeria or any other country of terror threats.“We will surely not keep any secret regarding any issue that threatens the stability of any country, including Algeria.”Khiame has brought up the lack of security cooperation between Morocco and Algeria in most of his recent interviews.In the Sahel, according to Khiame, many terror organizations have links to drug trafficking networks.Khiame said that trafficking circles clearly finance terrorism in the Sahel, which is a “fertile ground for terrorism, posing a threat in the entire region.”He discussed Morocco’s cooperation with several powers, including France and Spain, explaining that the North African country has put in place an “efficient” policy and security system to confront terrorism and drug trafficking. The security apparatus has conducted “record seizures” of cocaine and dismantled several drug trafficking rings across Morocco, according to Khiame.
“The CAR is a forgotten crisis at the global level,” Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF Representative in the country. “While the world is preoccupied with what is happening in Syria or the Philippines, the situation is very tragic.”Despite a “very fragile, volatile and unpredictable context”, the UN agency is holding immunization and back-to-school campaigns to decrease the maternal and infant mortality rates in the country which ranks among the lowest in social indicators.UNICEF is also working with armed groups to release children conscripted into the army, Mr. Diabate and spokesperson Patrick McCormick said. As many as 6,000 children are estimated to be associated with the armed groups.Plagued by decades of instability and fighting, the CAR witnessed a resumption of violence last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks. A peace agreement was reached in January, but the rebels again seized the capital, Bangui, in March, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.There is now a transitional government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, entrusted with restoring law and order and paving the way for democratic elections. But armed clashes in the north-east have increased since the beginning of August, and the country is facing a dire humanitarian situation affecting the entire population.In addition, there are continued reports of gross human rights violations since the Séléka coalition seized power this March, including the deliberate killing of civilians, acts of sexual violence against women and children, and the destruction and looting of property, including hospitals, schools and churches.In his latest report to the Security Council on the situation in the CAR, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he is increasingly concerned by the deepening crisis in the country and that there is an urgent and growing need to address the crisis before it spirals out of control. Mr. Ban noted his concern about growing tensions between communities and that these tensions might lead to uncontrollable sectarian violence with untold consequences for the country, the sub-region and beyond.