Almost one month after the tragic incident in which two French-Moroccan citizens were killed by Algerian coastal guards, the family of one victim is urgently requesting the repatriation of their son’s body.
Abdelali Mechouar, a Moroccan residing in France, and his French-Moroccan cousin Bilal Kissi were both killed on August 29 by Algerian coast guards while they were adrift on jet skis, as described by a survivor’s account.
Kissi’s body washed ashore on the Moroccan side of the border. Meanwhile, Mechouar’s body remains in Algeria, according to a statement from the Defense Ministry.
Speaking to AFP on September 26, Mechouar’s father, Mostafa, expressed his family’s frustration, stating that they have received “zero information” regarding their son’s remains and pleading for an expedited process to allow them to grieve.
Morocco and Algeria have been locked in a long-standing fuel, with Algeria severing diplomatic ties in 2021. Despite the tension, Rabat has maintained silence on the incident, only announcing the initiation of an investigation at the prosecutor’s office in Oujda. France has also announced a separate investigation.
Hakim Chergui, the Mechouar family’s French lawyer, revealed their current predicament, stating that they have encountered a “blockage” in the process, explaining that the “military prosecutor’s office has not responded for a week,” as reported by Alarabiya News.
On September 3, the Algerian defense ministry broke its silence on the incident, acknowledging that their coastal guards did open fire on the jet skiers. However, they asserted that this action was justified because the Moroccan nationals disregarded multiple warnings from coastal guards to stop, prompting the guards to use live ammunition.
The survivor contested this narrative, claiming that they had not heard any warnings.