Syrian refugee expulsion claims lead Morocco to summon Algerian ambassador in latest Rabat-Algiers feud
Rabat recalled its ambassador to Algiers late last year in response to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's criticism of Morocco's human rights record (Courtesy of Morocco World News)
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Morocco's foreign ministry summoned Algeria's ambassador Tuesday regarding allegations from Algiers that Rabat has been expelling Syrian refugees, according to Agence France Presse.
Debates erupted earlier this week between "the feuding neighbors" after Morocco accused Algeria of expelling 77 Syrian nationals into Moroccan territory, with Algeria replying that its border guards "had merely refused to allow the Syrians deported by Morocco onto its territory."
With Algiers and Rabat both accusing each other of the same wrongdoing, Morocco's interior ministry told reporters that Algeria's behavior is "contrary to the rules of good neighborliness."
According to Rabat, 18 women and 43 children were among the expelled. However, according to Hassan Amari, a human rights activist in the border town of Oujda which is the main entry point for migrants entering from Algeria, many of the supposed expelled Syrians actually entered Morocco voluntarily to visit their families.
Morocco and Algeria has been feuding for decades, largely over the issue of Morocco's annexed territory of Western Sahara.
In recent months, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has crticized Rabat over its human rights record, which led Rabat to recall its ambassador to Algiers in protest.