By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 25 January 2016:
There is some confusion over the detention of up to 500 Moroccans at Algiers airport . . .[restrict]as they sought to take flights to Libya. The Algerian authorities said that they suspected that within what they described as the sudden influx of Moroccans, there were travellers intent on joining IS.
The Moroccan government, with whom Algiers is not on good terms, have rubbished the claim, saying that their citizens were were returning to work in Libya or heading off there to seek employment. There are currently no direct flights between Morocco and Libya.
The Algerians have said that they will only let those Moroccans with valid Libyan work permits carry on with their journeys. The rest would be repatriated. It is not clear how many of these travellers have fallen foul of the Algerian decision. Normally carriers are required to check that their customers have valid visas.
There has been an angry reaction in Morocco. The Rabat-based North Africa Post quoted analysts as wondering why Algeria was acting on behalf of the Libyan authorities. It described the incident as “another episode in the soap opera” of relations between the two countries. [/restrict]