That is half 4 of a five-part series.
Morocco – Abdelfattah Louarak, inspector normal of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces
In January 2017, Basic Abdelfattah Louarak, 66, was appointed inspector normal of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (whose commander-in-chief is none aside from the king), changing Basic Bouchaïb Arroub, who had held the place since 2014. Louarak’s promotion to this strategic function, if ever there have been one, has ushered in a interval of stability.
He was made a four-star normal by King Mohammed VI in January 2017, becoming a member of the extremely selective ranks of the “four-star membership”, which incorporates the likes of his four-star predecessor, Hosni Benslimane, a former commander of the Royal Gendarmerie.
Born in 1955 in Ben Ahmed, a city in Morocco’s Casablanca-Settat area, Louarak graduated from the Meknes Royal Navy Academy in 1976. He’s properly acquainted with the Western Sahara state of affairs. For the primary 10-odd years of his army profession, he served within the eleventh Motorised Infantry Regiment through the Western Sahara Conflict (1975-1991). Little data is thought about his army exploits, however he was embellished with the Order of Ouissam Alaouite star on the finish of his service.
In 1986, Louarak was transferred to an elite unit, the 2nd Parachute Infantry Brigade, the place he helped practice the Moroccan Particular Forces. He went on to take over the logistics and transport for the armed forces. In 1994, whereas nonetheless a commander, he obtained a certificates of upper training from the Collège Interarmées de Défense army academy in Paris, which turned the École de Guerre in 2010. Louarak additionally oversaw the recruitment of senior army officers on the division of officer personnel.
As well as, the four-star normal has diplomatic duties, as he travelled to Washington DC in early January to signal army agreements between the dominion and the US for the 2020-2030 interval.
Mohamed Yassine Mansouri, director normal of Morocco’s intelligence company
Mohamed Yassine Mansouri, 59, is director normal of the Route Générale des Etudes et de la Documentation (DGED), Morocco’s intelligence company. He was one of many king’s classmates on the Collège Royal de Rabat, a royal academy for outstanding Moroccans.
Mansouri was appointed director of the nation’s information company, Maghreb Arabe Presse, in 1999. In 2005, the King named him as director of the DGED. His 15 years of intelligence expertise provides him a big edge over his Algerian counterpart, Nour-Eddine Mekri, who has been on the job for a couple of brief months.
Mansouri additionally has appreciable diplomatic chops, together with expertise with the Libya disaster, which has earned him the standing because the architect behind the Bouznika peace talks held in September and October 2020. He typically represents Morocco throughout conferences held by regional and worldwide establishments on terrorism points.
Alongside Nasser Bourita, the nation’s overseas minister, the intelligence director took half in roundtable discussions held by the UN in December 2018 that introduced collectively the Western Sahara’s Polisario Entrance, Algerian officers and representatives from Mauritania.
A authorized knowledgeable by coaching who ended up within the media enterprise, Mansouri has an atypical background for a senior intelligence official, although he beforehand labored for the inside ministry, which he joined within the late Eighties underneath Driss Basri, the high-powered minister who maintained his grip on the company from 1979 to 1999. Throughout Mansouri’s time there, he made common visits to Western Sahara.
A number of months earlier than Morocco was readmitted to the African Union in 2017, he travelled to Algeria with Bourita for a ground-breaking go to throughout which he met with Algeria’s then overseas minister, Abdelkader Messahel. Mansouri’s profession is the embodiment of his nation’s security- and diplomacy-oriented strategy to Western Sahara.
Algeria – Saïd Chengriha, chief of employees of the armed forces
After enlisting in Algeria’s military in 1963, when he was 18, Saïd Chengriha was promptly despatched to France to review on the École de Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan army faculty, the place he gained expertise with armoured automobiles. After combating Israeli troops as a member of the duty pressure despatched to again Egypt through the Yom Kippur Conflict, he graduated from the Soviet Ok. E. Voroshilov Navy Academy in 1973.
It was in 1992, within the aftermath of riots that broke out over the cancellation of parliamentary elections, that the lifetime of the native of El Kantara, a city in Biskra Province, modified dramatically. Chengriha was tasked, alongside his rapid superior, Abdelaziz Medjahed, with main the Centre de Conduite et de Coordination des Actions de Lutte Antisubversive in Bouïra Province, south-east of Algiers.
His efficiency was so spectacular that his bosses determined, two years later, to reassign him to his authentic unit, the eighth Armoured Division, and entrusted him with an vital job: he would look at methods to modernise the military to maintain it on high of the most recent rising threats.
One such menace was the more and more tense state of affairs on the Moroccan border. In 2004, Chengriha was appointed to steer the third Navy Area of Béchar, which is covers part of the border, the place he turned recognized for his hawkish hostility to his nation’s western neighbour.
Named commander of floor forces in August 2018, he was properly positioned when his rapid superior, Ahmed Gaïd Salah, urged Abdelaziz Bouteflika, then president, to resign, successfully elevating himself to the function of performing head of state.
Chengriha – or “Tcheng” – as he’s nicknamed for his uncle Abdelkader, a number one determine within the Armée de Libération Nationale and intelligence group – had by no means been so near the federal government. When Gaïd Salah handed away a couple of days after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s election, he was the pure selection for performing chief of employees. He was formally confirmed in his publish on 3 July 2020.
Nour-Eddine Mekri, aka “Mahfoud Polisario”, Algeria’s foreign-intelligence chief
Born within the Fifties in Mascara, a metropolis in western Algeria, Main Basic Nour-Eddine Mekri, aka “Mahfoud”, is a part of a technology of officers who joined the Algerian armed forces to serve within the intelligence service, which had opened its doorways to lecturers.
His in depth experience on the Western Sahara – he witnessed the battle firsthand throughout prolonged visits to Tindouf (close to the Algeria-Morocco border) – earned him the nickname “Mahfoud Polisario”.
Within the Eighties, he labored intently with Mohammed Seddik Benyahia, then overseas minister and the architect of the discharge of US hostages in Iran. Mekri has additionally been in control of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Sécurité Nationale because the early Nineties.
His profession modified course when he was appointed director of the defence ministry on 10 September 2009, the place he’s chargeable for cooperation and overseas relations. This strategic publish permits him to nominate and lead Algeria’s cohort of defence attachés serving abroad, help overseas army delegations visiting Algeria and monitor diplomatic missions with army workplaces in Algiers.
In 2015, he paid a steep worth for his shut ties with Basic Mohamed “Toufik” Mediène. When compelled into retirement, the overall had been head of the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité, but it surely was shut down afterwards. Mekri, a collateral sufferer of a dispute between his boss and Gaïd Salah, was sacked with out additional ado.
His appointment as overseas intelligence chief, introduced on 20 January 2021, is a comeback of types. He might be tasked with re-establishing tighter and extra environment friendly coordination channels between the diplomatic corps, the army institution and the foreign-intelligence service. Given his background, he’s, not less than in concept, the perfect man for the job.