RABAT, April 23 Morocco has summoned Algeria's
ambassador to express concern after 54 Syrians attempted to
"illegally enter" the country from Algeria, the ministry of
foreign affairs said in a statement on Sunday.
It said 54 Syrians attempted to enter Morocco through the
border town of Figuig, an area surrounded by mountains, between
April 17 and 19. It accused Algeria of forcing them to cross
"Algeria must assume political responsibility and morality
concerning this situation," the ministry statement on MAP state
news agency said.
"It is immoral and unethical to manipulate the moral and
physical distress of these people, (and) to sow trouble in the
There was no immediate response from Algeria on state news
Some 5,000 Syrians have gone through a migration regulatory
process in Morocco, with several hundred receiving refugee
status, according to Morocco's ministry of foreign affairs.
Morocco and Algeria share a 1,500 km (970 mile) land border
that runs from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sahara Desert which
has been shut since 1994.
The North African neighbours have had a contentious
relationship since independence from France. Border disputes
triggered an armed conflict in the 1960s known as the "Sand
One of their biggest disputes has been over Western Sahara,
a former Spanish colony, most of which Morocco annexed in 1975.
Algeria supports and hosts the Western Saharan independence
movement Polisario, a stance which angers Morocco.
(Reporting by Samia Errazzkoui; editing by Patrick Markey and