Proclamation of the rebirth of the Kabyle state: a blow to the military junta in Algiers

" By this present law, on April 20, 2024 at 18 H 57 of Kabylia, in the name of the Kabyle people, I proclaim the return to life and for eternity, of the Kabyle State/ Awanek Aqvayli, on the national and international scene. " Ferhat Mehenni, reads with great emotion article1 of the law proclaiming the rebirth of the Kabyle state
Ferhat Mehenni
Ferhat Mehenni

Saturday, April 20, 2024, 6:57 pm, in front of the UN headquarters on the banks of the East River in Manhattan's Turtle Bay district, east of Midtown, a motley crowd of diverse origins bearing the colors of the Kabyle flag, sang, in chorus, the Kabyle anthem, "Ass n Tlelli" (The Day of Freedom) under the direction of the man who, a few minutes later, would solemnly pronounce "the proclamation of the rebirth of the Kabyle state": Ferhat Mehenni.

This man wrapped in a Kabyle burnous, which a young girl delicately placed on his shoulders as he prepared to read Article 1 of the law proclaiming the rebirth of the Kabyle state, did not yet realize the long journey that had taken him to the bottom of the UN headquarters tower to live out these intense words.

From April 20 1980, the historic date of the outbreak of the Berber Spring in Tizi-Ouzou, the capital of Kabylia, to April 20 2024, we've come a long way. A road strewn with pitfalls and betrayals. But there have also been many achievements.

From the recognition of Berber identity to the proclamation of the rebirth of the Kabyle state, not forgetting the teaching of the Berber language in Algerian schools and its official recognition in the Algerian constitution.

Achievements for which he paid dearly. On August 26, 2021, the Algerian regime issued an international arrest warrant against him, and on November 14, 2022, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Algerian court.

The Algerian regime goes even further, listing him in the official gazette as a terrorist, along with a number of other intellectuals who challenge the legitimacy of a government imposed by electoral fraud and rejected by the majority of the population.

In Kabylia, the turnout for the December 2019 presidential election was zero in the two main wilayate (departments) of the Kabyle country, Tizi-Ouzou and Bejaïa.

The Algerian regime, which classifies Ferhat Mehenni and some of his fellow travelers, didn't dare call on the American authorities to arrest this "terrorist" who defied them at the foot of the tower housing the UN headquarters in New York.

Nor has it been able to protest to the French authorities about the regular demonstrations by thousands of militants of the Mouvement pour l'Autodétermination de la Kabylie (MAK) in the streets of Paris and other French cities.

The regime in Algiers, despite the heavy blow received, was left speechless, and we know of no reaction. Neither in Kabylia, where several demonstrations marked the announcement made in New York, nor in Algeria or abroad.

Nor did the Algerian press mention the event, following in the footsteps of the powers that be, which have a firm grip on them.