A declassified CIA document on Moroccan borders in Eastern Sahara confirmed the Moroccan character of territories now considered Algerian.
The document declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the American intelligence, in 2004, and revealed by The North Africa Post, indicated that the sovereignty of Morocco extended from Hassi Beida (province of Béchar) to the city from Tinjoub (south of Mhamid Ghizlane).
It also indicates the responsibility of France in the drawing of the borders and the annexed territories which do not belong to Algeria, at the source of the territorial dispute between Morocco and Algeria.
The document explains that the French administration in Morocco and Algeria had repeatedly redefined the administrative line separating Morocco from French Algerian jurisdiction and had favored Algeria, which was legally part of France.
The CIA which recognizes de facto through this document the Moroccan sovereignty over the Eastern Sahara, “strengthens the legal position and the historical rights of Morocco for the liberation of the last occupied Saharan territories illegally annexed during French Algeria to the detriment of Morocco”, indicates for its part The North Africa Post.
The declassified official American document traces the key dates of the conflict between Morocco and Algeria, such as the 1963 Sand War, and explains that the southern Saharan stretch of the Moroccan-Algerian border from Figuig to the Sahara has no never been demarcated.
American intelligence also recalls that as soon as Morocco gained independence in 10,956, the question of the recovery of Moroccan lands annexed by France in Algeria was raised.
After gaining independence in 1956, Moroccans raised the issue of recovering their Saharan territories annexed at the time from French Algeria, the US intelligence memo adds.
In 1958, while the Algerian rebels were operating in the Saharan zone, France and Morocco “informally agreed” on respective operational zones in order to avoid clashes between their forces, but France extended occupation north and west of the previous lines, and the new line was given no legal status, the CIA document points out.
“This line is however adopted by the Algerians. The Moroccans insist that the real border is an earlier line, which places the posts of Hassi Beida and Tinjoub in Morocco. These posts are important because they are on the main caravan route linking Colomb-Béchar and Tindouf”reveals the American document.
The CIA memo also cites a 1961 agreement between the late King Hassan II and Ferhat Abbas, who was then prime minister of the Algerian provisional government, to recover Morocco’s eastern Sahara once Algeria is independent, but the Algerian rulers overthrew Abbas and refused to return Moroccan eastern Saharan lands.