Paix sans frontières: building peace across borders
Publication date: 
2011
Accord issue: 
22

The four countries of North Africa — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya — form a historic and civilisational island (al-jazira in Arabic) between seas of water and sand at the far end (al-maghrib in Arabic) of the Arab world. Yet they are ‘enemy brothers’, unable to bring their social and economic similarities together into a cooperative ensemble. As a result, open trans-border conflict lurks as a possibility and the welfare of all four countries is impeded.

Removing the single largest issue in the way of security cooperation by resolving the Western Sahara conflict would allow Morocco and Algeria to turn coordinated attention to the security problem to their south, permit them to reduce their forces level and halt their arms race and free them to devote more of their budgets to civilian needs. 

I William Zartman