Syrian refugees ‘stuck between Morocco and Algeria’

“A group of around 50 Syrian refugees trapped between Morocco and Algeria face a “catastrophic situation” with women and children among those stranded.

A group of around 50 Syrian refugees trapped between Morocco and Algeria face a “catastrophic situation” as they are unable to move in either direction, rights watchdogs warned on Wednesday.

“We denounce the catastrophic situation in which entire Syrian families survive in the zone between the two borders around the area of Figuig (in Morocco) and Beni Ounif (in Algeria),” they said in a statement.

The Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) and Algeria’s League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) called on the two governments to help the refugees.

The plight of those trapped “is serious enough for the authorities of the two countries to speak at a table to find a solution,” they said in the statement.

Women and children are among those who have been stranded in the no man’s land since the end of April.

At the time, Morocco accused its neighbour of expelling the refugees to “sow trouble” and “generate an uncontrollable flow of migrants”.

Algeria “categorically” rejected the accusations as false.

It sparked a diplomatic spat, with each country summoning the other’s ambassador.

The land zone between the two countries has been closed since 1994. The North African rivals have very difficult relations, especially over the question of Western Sahara.

The New Arab & agencies

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