Thursday November 30, 2023, a date that the Mouvement pour l'Autodétermination de la Kabylie (MAK) will remember as one of the most important in its history

Confrontation between the Algerian government and the Mouvement pour l'Autodétermination Kabyle

Ferhat Mehenni
photo_camera Mak Ferhat Mehenni

On this day, for the first time since its creation in June 2001, the movement found itself at the pinnacle of consecration. Its founding president, Ferhat Mehenni, was in direct confrontation with the Algiers government representative at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
As if the Algerian regime were short of failures, its representative scored another setback by seeking to cross swords with the MAK president on the occasion of the 16th United Nations Forum on Minority Issues. A fatal error for which he will certainly have to answer to his bosses. And with good reason...

On May 18, 2021, following a meeting of the High Security Council (HCS), the Algerian regime classified the MAK on the "list of terrorist organizations" and "to treat them as such". Its president and some of its leading members are subject to an international arrest warrant. A warrant, incidentally, that the international criminal police organization INTERPOL has rejected, just as it has rejected several other arrest warrants issued by the Algerian authorities against political activists, journalists and bloggers on social networks.

Since this organization is classified as a terrorist organization, the Algerian government representative was not supposed to engage in any polemics or confrontations with its representatives, especially on UN premises. This seems to have been ignored by the Algerian representative, who was very clumsy in his intervention. Not only did he place the MAK on the same level as the state it represents by seeking confrontation with its president, but worse still, he had no arguments of any substance to respond to his antagonist. He limited himself to calling him a "liar" and describing the truths he told the audience as "mere false allegations". 

However, without going into detail, the MAK president outlined the repression suffered by Kabylia since the murder of young Massinissa Guermah, assassinated inside the headquarters of a gendarmerie brigade in Ath-Douala on April 18, 2001, two days before the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Kabyle Spring. This assassination was followed by 130 others committed against innocent young people who had come out to peacefully condemn the crime committed against the man they affectionately nicknamed Moumouh.

WhatsApp Image 2023-12-01 at 16.25.04
Ferhat Mehenni, the president of MAK at the UN headquarters in Geneva

Ferhat Mehenni, President of the MAK, reminded us that "as Kabyles, we are relegated to the camp of minority peoples, even though we represent 12 million of Algeria's 40 million souls", before sounding the alarm about the hardships suffered by the people of this region. "Kabylia is living under martial law. All freedoms are suspended, and everyone lives in fear of arrest and torture.

Since 2021, all Kabyles have been collectively decreed terrorists, and a genocide codenamed "Operation Zero Kabyles" is being carried out. They were burned alive and accused of being their own arsonists. No fewer than 43 innocent Kabyles were condemned to death.

Thousands of arrests followed by torture, and more than 100,000 Kabyles were banned from leaving Algerian territory.  To say that these allegations are lies is to be appallingly dishonest. That's why one of the witnesses to this Algerian-Kabyle confrontation at the UN said, "When you represent a regime that has built its entire policy on lies, out of decency, you shouldn't call others liars."

However, the Algerian government delegate could not prevent the AMK from achieving its first victory in its first confrontation with the regime in Algiers. In fact, it was a 2 in 1, since the other victory recorded on the same day was to have forced the Algerian delegate to express himself in... Kabyle.

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