Morocco Arms Purchases Worries Neighboring Algeria

Rabat – Morocco’s arms purchases and its efforts to bolster its army have seemingly worried neighboring Algeria.Upon hearing the news that Morocco has acquired Russian-made missile batteries, Algerian newspaper Al-Shorouq was quick to attack Morocco, accusing the kingdom of fueling conflict and of threatening its neighbors, according to daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum.Algeria has also expressed worries after Morocco purchased three US Army CH-470 Chinook transport helicopters. The three helicopters, which spent a seven month refurbishment period before being delivered to Morocco’s Royal Army, arrived in Tangier over the weekend. Morocco is reportedly seeking to obtain a submarine from Russia during King Mohammed VI’s forthcoming visit to Moscow by the end of 2015.The kingdom is also planning to reinforce its four new frigate warships by acquiring helicopters with anti-submarine capabilities from Russia.In fact, both Morocco and Algeria are among Africa’s top spenders on military equipment. The two countries saw the greatest increase in arms spending during the last decade in Africa.According to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Morocco is the second largest importer of arms in Africa the period 2010-2014.Arms purchases by Morocco accounted for 26 per cent of the continent’s overall imports between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, the Swedish think tank said.Morocco is preceded by Algeria, the largest arms importer in Africa, with 30 per cent of imports and Sudan (6 per cent)