The head of the Republic of Kabylia, Ferhat Mhenni, reiterated his call to the Moroccan authorities to open an embassy in Rabat or Laâyoune and praised Morocco’s actions in the Sahara.
In an interview with Moroccan magazine L’Observateur, Mhenni denounced what he called ruthless Algerian colonialism in the troubled region of Kabylia.
He said the people of Kabylia sent clear messages to the military regime by boycotting the presidential elections and the referendum on the constitution.
Mhenni urged Morocco to support the cause of Kabylia’s independence and expressed support for Morocco’s decision to secure its southern borders with Mauritania.
Kabylia is historically opposed to the military autocracy of Algiers. Leaders of the Kabylia region such as Houceine Ait Ahmed and his FFS party as well as the RCD party, both rooted among the Kabyle people, called for an end to Algiers support for the separatist Polisario front and called for a rapprochement with Morocco.
The movement for the self-determination of Kabylia has organized in recent years massive marches in the towns and villages of Kabylia to demand the independence of Algeria.
The bloody events of 2001 in which 125 young people were killed sparked the birth of a movement for the self-determination of the Kabylie region (known by its French acronym MAK) which continues to gain ground among the Kabyles in Algeria and in France where a large diaspora lives.
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.
Mhenni helped create a Kabyle Provisional Government in Exile. The movement identifies itself as a pacifist movement seeking autonomy in Algiers as a prelude to the founding of an independent state of Kabylia.
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.
International human rights monitoring bodies, including EuroMed Rights, and Front Line Defenders condemned in the strongest terms Algeria’s discrimination against the Amazigh (Berber) minority and called for all charges to be dropped. against them.