As Algerian Army Chief Visits France, Questions Raised On Risks Of Arms Contracts
Paris, January 27 (TNA) The Chief of Staff of the Algerian National People's Army, Said Chengriha, paid a visit to Paris where he was received by President Emmanuel Macron. According to many observers, this visit was an opportunity for France to establish arms contracts with Algeria, particularly because of the recent increase in the Algerian defense budget, worth $ 18 billion.
However, it is important to note that the sale of arms to Algeria carries significant risks, especially given doubts about the final destination of these weapons, which could benefit armed groups in the region, such as the separatist militias of the Polisario Front. This could contribute to the exacerbation of regional instability and an attack on the integrity of Moroccan territory.
It is also reported that the two sides discussed the issue of Algeria's deployment in the Sahel, at a time when there is a real anti-French sentiment in Africa. It is suggested that Algeria could play the role of France's emissary in the Sahel in an attempt to curb this growing sentiment, but this raises questions about the contradictions of France, which, while it is a victim of the Russian breakthrough in Africa, supports one of Moscow's main supporters in Africa, namely Algeria.
This visit perfectly demonstrates the duplicity of Algiers (and France), which, despite signs of rapprochement with the West (Paris and Washington), remains the unwavering ally of Russia. The alliance with Moscow is even a constant of the influential wings within the Algerian establishment. What gives this trip of Chengriha in France an appearance of Algerian deception towards the West.
Relations between Algeria and the United States have been strained in recent years due to the Algerian government's policy of defiance toward Washington. However, it would appear that this trend is changing, with the Algerian establishment becoming increasingly sensitive to relations with the United States, and now has Russia's allies in its crosshairs, raising the spectre of economic sanctions against them.
Chengriha's visit to France could be seen as evidence of the gradual abandonment of this policy of defiance towards Washington, and a desire for rapprochement with the West. According to some observers, France has reason to be concerned about Algeria's capacity to cause harm in North Mali and in neighboring countries.
Algeria has been accused of having supported the Russian implantation in the region, as well as coup regimes in Mali and Burkina Faso, and of maintaining dubious relations with armed groups in the region. However, it is possible that France is seeking to bring Algeria back to its side rather than maintaining an opposition of interests in the Sahel-Saharan region.
However, for others, the visit is seen as a favor France is doing to General Chengriha, who is accused by the Algerian opposition abroad of committing crimes and abuses related to human rights and drug and arms trafficking.