Morocco urges Algeria to respect Kabylia’s right to self-determination
Morocco reiterated its appeal to Algeria to apply the principle of self-determination of the Amazigh people of the Kabylia region, “one of the oldest peoples in Africa”.
These remarks were made by Moroccan Ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale in response to comments by new Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamaamra who stepped away from the agenda of the NAM meeting to raise the issue. question of the Sahara.
He mentioned the resumption of the armed conflict which nobody talks about except the Algerian and Polisario propaganda machinery.
Hilale made it clear that the Sahara remains the most peaceful area in the vast Sahel and Sahara region and that life goes on as usual.
Separatism in the Sahara was created by Algeria, the real party to the conflict that has blocked any progress by the UN towards a mutually acceptable political solution, Hilale said.
Algeria should look in the mirror and stop bragging about the principle of self-determination to serve its hegemonic agenda.
If Algeria was really attached to this principle, it would do better to defend it at home and grant the people of the Kabylia region their right to self-determination of their fate, he said.
The “brave Kabyle people” have endured the longest occupation in African history and deserve to be independent, Hilale said.
His remarks signal a shift in Rabat’s foreign policy after the failure of all attempts to reconcile with the warmongering Algerian leaders.
The troubled region of Kabylia is now the epicenter of a pro-democracy movement known as Hirak.
The movement for the self-determination of Kabylia, known by its French acronym MAK, has organized massive marches in the towns and villages of Kabylia in recent years to demand the independence of Algeria.
The bloody events of 2001 in which 125 young people were killed triggered the birth of the movement for the self-determination of Kabylia which continues to gain ground among the Kabyles in Algeria and in France where there is a large diaspora.
Supporters of the independence of Kabylia cite a series of grievances their region witnessed after the independence of Algeria. They blame the Algerian regime for seeking to eradicate their linguistic and cultural particularities by imposing a policy of Arabization coupled with economic marginalization.
Kabyle independence activists argue that their region was attached by colonial France to an artificial Algerian state and that their historic leaders who fought for independence from France were marginalized along with their region in post-independent Algeria.
Human Rights Watch, EuroMed Rights, Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders condemned in the strongest terms Algeria’s discrimination against the Amazigh (Berber) minority and called for all charges against the detained activists to be dropped .