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Amar Belani: “The Algerian State Will Stand By Algerians Whose Property Was Unfairly Confiscated In Morocco”

December 29, 2021

In the midst of its frenzied and unabated hostile campaigns against Algeria, the low-down trumpets and vile pens of the Moroccan Makhzen, addicted to hatred of Algeria and hatred of its symbols and people, have recently returned to practice their miserable hobby of repeating the same malicious and misleading propaganda regarding the allegations of “the property of Moroccans in Algeria”.

These malevolent trumpets are trying in vain, as they have always done, to show Morocco in the guise of the victim and the oppressed in this file, by blatantly falsifying the facts and jumping on the historical facts proven by proven evidence and documents.

The Moroccan side, while raising the issue of Moroccans who left Algeria in 1975, has always sought to mislead public opinion in both countries and at the international level, and tried to obscure the truth by talking about the alleged properties of these nationals that had been confiscated by the Algerian authorities.

While the vast majority of these people were not owners of personal property in Algeria, but mere workers, simple craftsmen, renting real estate and working on lands duly owned by the Algerian state or third parties.

On the other hand, hundreds of Algerian citizens residing in the Kingdom of Morocco, during the same period of time, were subjected to unjust and unfair procedures, as they were expelled from Morocco and their property and real estate property of an agricultural nature was confiscated without receiving compensation.

On March 2, 1973, the Moroccan authorities, by virtue of the royal decree dated the same day, which included Law No. 1-73 relating to the transfer of confiscated property to state ownership, nationalized thousands of hectares of agricultural land and hundreds of properties and real estate belonging to ancient Algerian families living in Morocco, to be placed later at the disposal of a government real estate agency called “SOGETA”, without any compensation for these affected families.

It is important here to clarify that the lands owned by the Algerians were acquired through free commercial dealings, while most of the lands extracted from European subjects were acquired under the Mandate system.

In addition to being a clear infringement of the right of property guaranteed by international conventions, the confiscation of Algerians’ property is a flagrant violation not only of the Algerian-Moroccan agreements, especially the Ifrane Treaty signed on January 15, 1969, the settlement agreement signed on March 15, 1963 and the attached protocol, amending and supplementing the provisions of this agreement signed in Ifrane on February 15, 1969, but also for the Moroccan laws themselves, especially the provisions of the royal decree of March 2, 1973 related to compensatory measures for the benefit of the owners of nationalized lands.

And the worst of all of this is that the Moroccan authorities have excluded the Algerian owners from the compensation procedures to this day, while Rabat, starting in 1974, signed bilateral agreements, under the name “Settlement of the Financial Effects Resulting from the Implementation of the Royal Decree of 1973”, with many of the the European countries to which foreign nationals were expropriated with the aim of determining the value of compensation and the modalities of paying it to those who deserve it, such as France (1974), Belgium (1976), Spain (1979), the United Kingdom (1981) and the Netherlands (1995).

On the contrary, the Moroccan authorities persisted in their oppression of the Algerian owners, and the Ministries of Interior and Agriculture issued instructions on July 29, 1974 and August 20, 1974, respectively, to the local authorities to allow Algerian owners to benefit from only the right of usufruct, and not the right of ownership, in agricultural lands that do not exceed an area of ​​only 10 hectares. Even this minimal right granted was not respected either.

This discriminatory, racist and unfair treatment reflects the hidden hatred that the Moroccan Makhzin harbors for Algeria and the Algerians, as well as categorically exposes the lying policy of the outstretched hand that it claims and contradicts its alleged will to normalize relations with our country.

This aggressive and racist policy against the Algerians continued, when the Moroccan authorities, during the year 1994, under the false pretext of the terrorist operation in Marrakesh, expelled thousands of Algerians from Morocco, including those legally residing and holding residence permits, and stripped them of their property and money, to be added to the long record. The property and real estate (condominiums, buildings, companies, plots of land…) belonging to the Algerian state and to Algerian citizens, were seized by the perfidious Makhzen in an arbitrary and illegal manner.

Despite this aggressive Moroccan behavior, Algeria has always expressed its full readiness to settle this file in good faith.

In 2003, it initiated a request to establish a mixed consular and social committee to settle the real estate dispute between the two countries.

This committee has already met on two occasions, respectively, on June 25, 2003, in Algiers, and in Rabat on June 21, 2003, after which the two sides agreed to settle the file of property disputes, on the basis of reciprocity.

Unfortunately, the Moroccan side, as usual, evaded fulfilling its obligations and the latter remained unfulfilled, after Rabat completely froze this mechanism against the background of the announcement of the Baker plan to settle the conflict in Western Sahara on July 31, 2003.

The higher authorities in Algeria have for a long time made the voice of wisdom prevail in dealing with the file of Algerians who were arbitrarily and unjustly dispossessed in Morocco, in compliance with the values ​​of brotherhood and the principles of good neighborliness.

Faced with this situation, Algeria will not stand idly by and will never waver to use all legitimate methods and legal mechanisms to defend Algerians’ legitimate rights.