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Rifians in Diaspora

Burning of portrait of Mohammed VI and the Moroccan flag in Betz/Paris by Riffian republicans!

A dozen republican Riffians burned and trampled on the Moroccan flag and the portrait of King Mohammed VI on Sunday 19 January in Betz, northern France. Videos and photos were posted on social networks.

On the anniversary of the events of 19 January 1984, when thousands of Moroccans protested against the high cost of living, more than a dozen of Riffian republicans demonstrated in front of the castle of King Mohammed VI in Betz, northern France. They burned and trampled on the portrait of the sovereign as well as the Moroccan flag. Images broadcast on social networks triggered a wave of indignation. Similar events had already taken place in October in Paris, when Riffian independence activists burned the Moroccan flag.


Demonstrators calling themselves “opponents of the monarchical regime” chanted the slogan “Vive le Rif“, waving flags of the Rif republic.


On 19 January 1984, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets, particularly in the cities of Nador, Al Hoceima, Tetouan, Ksar El Kebir and Marrakech, to protest against the high cost of living and the country’s economic situation as part of a “revolt for bread and dignity”. After days of riots, the forces of law and order intervened harshly caused hundreds of deaths to restore control.


Similarly in Paris

During the demonstration organised by Riffians in Paris on Saturday 26 October to mark the third anniversary of the death of Mohcine Fikri, a fish merchant whose death sparked a social protest movement in the Rif in northern Morocco, “republicans” trampled on and burned the country’s flag.

They demanded “the independence of the Rif” from “Alawite colonialism [in reference to the Moroccan royal family, editor’s note]”, waving the flags of the “Rif Republic” founded by Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el-Khattabi in the 1920s.

Faced with this gesture, which triggered an outcry in the Cherif kingdom, the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad reacted firmly in a statement published on its official website, condemning a “childish” and “cowardly” act, which shows how much the kingdom was shocked by these acts and demonstrates its weak position. Also the regime and palace friendly news outlets like le360.ma came out with accusations and lies to condemn the flag burning, while not even daring to mention the reason of the sit-in!


2019 was a successful diplomatic year for Arif 

In December 2018, Nasser Zefzafi was one of the three finalists of the European Sakharov Prize. In the presence of Nasser Zefzafi’s parents, this was extensively discussed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 9, 10, 11 & 12 December 2018. The nomination of Nasser Zefzafi for the Sakharov Prize 2018 ensured, among other things, that the European institutions became familiar with the Rif case. 2019 is a year in which the European Riffians managed to have a structural presence in the highest European body, the European Parliament.

The working group behind Nasser Zefzafi’s nomination for the European Sakharov Prize organised itself into a newly established organisation: Freedom & Human Rights Organization. One of the first diplomatic successes of FHRO was the establishment of a group of friends within the European Parliament called; Friends of The Rif. This group of friends consists of MEPs from different European political groups and from different European countries. Together with FHRO they form the Friends of The Rif 2019-2024.

One of the first things the group of friends did was to send an official letter (3 April 2019) to the Minister of Justice Mohamed Aujjar in Morocco, urging the release of the Hirak prisoners. The letter was signed by 25 MEPs and one member of the European Council. Almost all Moroccan media reported on this letter, Morocco has never reacted to the letter. The group of friends also contacted Federica Mogherini, High Representative for the foreign and defence policy of the European Union, by means of an official letter signed by several MEPs, in which attention was drawn to the Hirak prisoners. The pressure on Morocco slowly started to take off.

FHRO started to contact different European institutions to increase the pressure on Morocco. A number of meetings were held with EEAS (European External Action Service). EEAS is the diplomatic organization of the European Union. It supports, for example, the High Representative for Foreign and Defence Policy in the implementation of the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. On 19 February 2019, EEAS issued a warning regarding Moroccan spies in Brussels.

In February 2019 it was also announced that Nasser Zefzafi’s health was deteriorating. Miguel Urban Crespo, member of The Friends of The Rif, gave a passionate speech in the European Parliament on 13 February 2019 in which he drew attention to the health situation of Nasser Zefzafi. In the meantime, Morocco continued to isolate the Rif area. On 18 February 2019 the Dutch journalist of the NRC, Gerard van der Aa, was expelled from the Rif. On 16 March 2019 David Penefuerte Rendon was denied access to the Rif.

Meanwhile the group of friends started to get more and more structure and welcomed more and more MEPs. On 27 March 2019, the second meeting of the group of friends took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The group of friends included Miguel Urban Crespo, Lola Sanchez, Ana Miranda Paz, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Bart Staes, Kathleen van Brempt, Helmut Scholz, Philippe Lamberts, Brendo Benefei, Florent Marcellesi, Kati Piri, Judith Sargentini, Anne-Marie Mineur and Bodil Valero.

The trials against the Hirak detainees ended in March 2019. FHRO had made contact with Juan Soroeta of AIODH in the weeks preceding the statements against the leaders of the Hirak prisoners. At the beginning of March 2019 agreements were made between FHRO and AIODH for international observers from AIODH to visit the Hirak trials, this took place on 6 March 2019. During this visit, the international observers spoke with the lawyers of the Hirak detainees, other international observers (ISLP) and family of the Hirak detainees. In April 2019, the leaders of the Riffian People’s Movement were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 20 years. The indignation, anger and powerlessness was felt all over the world. Virtually all media in the world reported on these sebtences. MEPs of the group of friends strongly condemned these statements. Miguel Urban Crespo appeared on social media immediately after the convictions of the Hirak leaders to express his support and solidarity with the prisoners. In May 2019 the European elections were on the agenda, an exciting time for the group of friends. Who would come back after the elections? A number of MEPs within the group of friends had already indicated that they would not be going for another term in the European Parliament. FHRO supported the campaigns of the MEPs of the group of friends who went for re-election. FHRO organised a conference in Madrid on 12 April 2019 in cooperation with PODEMOS Spain. On 4 May 2019, FHRO organised a conference in Antwerp, together with MEPs from the European group S&D and the European group Green. At the end of May 2019, it became clear which MEPs had been re-elected.

Shortly after the European elections in May 2019, it became clear that Barts Staes, Anne Marie Mineur, Judith Sargentini, Lola Sanchez, Bodil Valero and Marie Christine Vergiat were no longer in the European Parliament and were therefore no longer part of the group of friends. FHRO used the period up to the summer holidays of 2019 to make contact with newly elected MEPs. In addition, contact was made with national politicians from the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium to discuss the situation of De Rif in the national parliaments of those countries. In the Netherlands, Germany and Spain questions were put to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs about the situation in the Rif.

The discussions that were held with the new MEPs began to get results. MEPs Tineke Strik, Pernando Barrena, Manuel Pineda Marin, Sira Rego, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Diana Riba Giner and Leila Chaibi joined the group of friends The Friends of The Rif shortly after the summer holidays. In the meantime contact was also made with Fourat ben Chikha, Belgian member of the Council of Europe.

ISLP, a group of international observers from America who had observed the trials of the Hirak prisoners in Casablanca, issued a damning report on these trials. FHRO presented and discussed this report to several MEPs in September, October and November 2019. The report will certainly be followed up in 2020.

On 10 September, the group of friends sent an official letter to David Maria Sassoli, the new President of the European Parliament. His predecessor Antonio Tajani, had expressed his support for Nasser Zefzafi and the Riffine People’s Movement. The letter asked whether the new President would continue along these lines. On 31 October 2019, President Sassoli replied to the letter. In it he stated that the European Parliament supports and supports the finalists of the Sakharov Prize. He also indicated that the new Euro-Morroccan Partnership for Shard Prosperity had been launched in June 2019. One of the structural issues on which this Partnership is based is ‘the convergence of values’ in which human rights and freedom of speech are important. He proposed that the Maghreb delegation of the European Union contact FHRO for this dossier. The President would forward the letter to this delegation and contact the head of this delegation, Mr. Cozzolino, to take up the matter. FHRO has since made initial contacts with the head of this Maghreb delegation. To be continued in 2020.

FHRO had made contact with APDHA, an NGO from Spain, before the summer holidays of 2019. This NGO was mainly concerned with the flow of refugees from North Africa. When the mass arrests in the reef area began, thousands of reefs fled to Spain. APDHA could clearly see this in the explosive increase in the number of refugees from the Reef area. FHRO, together with Rafael Lara of APDHA, drew up a manifesto, Manifesto pro el rif. This manifesto was presented to the European group GUE/NGL on 11 September 2019 at a group meeting to which APDHA and FHRO were invited. Together with APDHA, FHRO held several livestream sessions on social media for Rif refugees in which information was given on how to act upon arrival in Spain. In October 2019 it was announced that APDHA had nominated Nasser Zefzafi for the annual human rights award of this organisation.

The third meeting of The Friends of The Rif took place on 17 September 2019. This was a meeting with the assistants of the MEPs in which especially the organization of the Friends of The Rif was discussed. On 17 October 2019 the fourth meeting of The Friends of The Rif was on the agenda in the European Parliament in Brussels. During this meeting, FHRO presented various initiatives for the year 2020. 2019 was a year in which the European Reefs succeeded in having a structural presence in the highest European body. The foundations were laid for structural cooperation with MEPs to keep the topic of the Reef on the European agenda. There are several initiatives on the agenda in the coming months. Morocco will have to get moving anyway. Will Morocco choose for a solution or will they put the heels further in the sand? In any case, the group of friends will be ready for both scenarios until 2024.

A final message to the European diaspora from De Rif: Be proud of what we have achieved together in recent years. Few minority groups have conquered the streets of Europe for three years with demonstrations, sessions, meetings and demonstrations. We have been heard clearly in Europe in recent years. We have all conveyed the message loud and clear. We have to push on, push on, push on. Keep going, keep going, keep going and keep going. We are the people of Abdel Karim el Khattabi, we do not bow. It’s in our DNA. Our history was written by our ancestors, the European diaspora will make history again together with the Riffine People’s Movement.

Long live the Reef.


Mohamed Chacha (1955–2016)

Chacha during his commemoration in Utrecht 2010

By: Amazigh Informatie Centrum
The poet, musician, and above all Amazigh activist Mohamed Chacha was born on 15 August 1955 in Ixef n Cebdan, Qabu Yawa, North Morocco. As a teenager, Chacha worked as a fisherman in the port of Qabu Yawa. Here he was fired for demanding better working conditions together with other fishermen.

At a young age he became aware of the dictatorship in his native country. His first confrontation with the regime of the late King Hassan II was during a student protest. He was arrested and beaten. This eventually resulted in the suspension of school. At the age of 22 (in 1977) he fled to the Netherlands to apply for political asylum there.

Until his death he lived and worked in Amsterdam, where he was active in the radical Moroccan movement Ila Alamam (Forward) and the Moroccan Workers’ Committee in the Netherlands (KMAN). In the end, he left these organisations for ideological reasons. Chacha always remained involved in various human rights organisations. In addition to his activism, as an autodidact he was mainly concerned with literature, language and culture.

Amazigh movement
In the 1980s he was one of the most prominent members of the young Amazigh movement in the Netherlands. It consisted of artists, poets, writers and students. This inspired Chacha to write in Tamazight after he published his first books in Arabic. In the 1990s he founded the Izouran Foundation (roots) with the aim of publishing Riffin literature. Chacha also supported linguist Roel Otten in his lessons in Arabic and Tamazight by reading from his work to improve the speech and listening skills of his students.

Both his songs and his books sing and describe the fate of the workers, women and other marginalized and oppressed groups. Chacha was a passionate and active person. He followed a series of theatre courses and played in various plays, as well as writing his own plays. He took part in cultural events and political meetings throughout Europe. He did this as a spectator, performer and troublemaker. Chacha played lute and sang Izran (Amazigh poems). He also made radio and TV programmes for the Pirate Radio and Amazigh TV, among others. His programmes were mainly about art, culture and politics.

Back in Morocco
For political reasons, Chacha was not allowed to enter his native country for a long time. After the death of Hassan II in 1999, he returned to Morocco to see for himself what the country was like.

In the first years of Mohamed VI’s regime he still had some faith in the promises of the new king. He became disappointed when it became clear to him that a democratic Morocco among the Moroccan Alawites could not be achieved. In the last ten years of his life he joined the Rif movement that advocates a free Rif republic as it was founded by Abdelkrim el Khattabi in 1921. Self-determination for the Rif was his last political demand.

Islamic Criticism
Chacha was critical of religions, especially Islam, the religion he inherited from his parents. He studied the ancient islamic writings such as the Koran and the Hadith (traditions). In his surroundings he often discussed the contradictions in these ‘holy’ texts. On his Facebook page he regularly posted verses from the Koran and stories from the origins of Islam that he did not understand himself or that he found to be in conflict with human rights. These included the marriage of minors, the rights of women and the actions of the prophet Mohamed and his companions.

Last years of life
In 2004, Chacha underwent a lung transplant. His doctors had predicted that he would be able to live with those lungs for another eight years, which eventually turned out to be twelve years. On his sick bed in Amsterdam he continued to write his latest novel: Hdem bna (Hdem bna) (Break down, build up), which he was unable to finish. He continued to work on it until three days before his death. He died on Wednesday 29 June 2016 in Amsterdam at the age of 61.

Chacha was publicly buried in his native village, where women were also present, which is contrary to the Islamic customs in Morocco where only men are allowed to participate in funeral processions. This made Chacha an activist even after his death.



  • Al-Maghrib Al jadid 1979, poetry. “The New Morocco”.
  • Qasaid Al Fuqaraa 1985, poetry. “Poems of the poor”.
  • Ayna Al Amal 198, poetry, “Where is hope”.
  • Kalimaat Mutamarrida 199?, poetry, “Rebellious words”.


  • Raz, Thuɛayantt d tawra zi yitaan 1995, poetry. Hunger, nudity and flight from the dogs.
  • Reẓ ṭṭabu ad d teffeɣt tfukt 1997, roman. “Break the taboo, and the sun will shine”.
  • Ajḍiḍ umi yitwagg celwaw 1998, novel. “The blind bird”.
  • Cway zi tibbuhelya ɛad war twid, 1999, poetry. “Unfinished folly”.
  • Abrid ɣer yezran 2000, study on Izran. “The road to songs”.
  • Tuf teqqen 2015, novel. “It’s stuck”.
  • Tarwa n umadal 2015, children’s book. “Sons of the world”.
  • Aṛaji 2016, poetry. “The waiting”.
  • Tayri n tayri 2016, novel. “Love of love”.
  • Hdem bna 2016, novel. “Abort, build up” (not yet published).


  • Hunger, nudity and flight from the dogs: rebellious verses, 1993. (translation of Raz, thuɛayantt d tawra zi yitaan, 1995).

Translated by Najat M.

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/mohamed-chacha-1955-2016-84d772c319d5

How Morocco uses terrorism to control the people’s movement in the Rif

Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy and the King of Morocco Mohamed VI. GTRES

Yassine Charaf, 19 September 2017

Mohammed VI follows in the footsteps of Hassan II.
An international media campaign is running against the Moroccan regime, which has become clearer following the recent terrorist attacks in Europe (17th August 2017, Barcelona) and directly points to the responsibility of the Moroccan palace for crimes against humanity. The aim of these attacks is to put pressure on European governments to stop the brutal repression and violation of human rights in the Rif region.

This is the general conclusion of the media reports, based on data from the European intelligence services. They report that King Mohamed VI has inherited not only the throne from his father Hassan II, but also the political policy, with minor corrections in terms of corruption and distractions.

King of Cannabis
In the days when the Moroccans had crowned their new king and named him the “King of Hearts”, the secret services on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea called him the “Hashish King”, just like they did with Hassan II. He succeeded in blackmailing Europe when Europe asked him to replace the cultivation of cannabis with profitable projects that would benefit the inhabitants. But the top manager of Morocco has confronted Europe with two options: Cannabis or cocaine. According to Hassan II, the ban on cannabis cultivation will relocate the Rif area for Europe to Colombia. Europe lost the bet and responded to the threats of Hassan II. Since then, 80% of the drugs on the European market have come from Morocco. However, the palace is the first to benefit from annual revenues of between 13 and 15 billion dollars. For the inhabitants of the Rif area, who are still living on structural support from relatives abroad, no change in living conditions can be seen. The regime refuses to legalise the cultivation of cannabis, so that the treasury benefits legally. Cannabis is considered one of the main causes of the Rif population movement because of the poverty, marginalisation and despair in which the inhabitants of the region live.

Moroccans remember the scandal when the chief of police of the Tangier region, Abdelaziz Izzou, organised major drug smuggling operations in the city during his police duties and continued the smuggling operations after being appointed by Mohamed VI on the recommendation of General Hamidou Laanigri to manage the security of the royal palaces. In this context, the European intelligence services confirm that the Palace is involved in international drug trafficking and that they are organised gangs operating under the Moroccan security and intelligence services.

The scandal that arose in Paris in 2017 when François Thierry, the former French head of justice of the anti-drug office, was summoned from Morocco to France for involvement in drug trafficking: He used his anti-drug office and organised gangs there. This is only the tip of the iceberg and it confirms the involvement of the Moroccan regime in the smuggling of hashish at the international level. Spanish parliamentarians have long pointed out that there is a kind of complicity between the Spanish and Moroccan security and intelligence services in drug smuggling from Morocco to Spain. But the justice system in that country does not reach the big fish because of the sensitivity of the issue.

King of terrorism
The involvement of the Moroccan regime in the exploitation, recruitment and support of terrorism is no longer a secret for anyone. There are many reports on this subject which point out that this commitment began with the war in Afghanistan, then with the wars in Iraq, Syria and Libya. And it still goes on. Terrorism is used for geopolitical and geostrategical reasons by Washington, Israel and the NATO intelligence service, the Gulf states, and Saudi Arabia in particular.

The regime of King Mohammed VI did not differ from that of his father. He continued to benefit from international cooperation with Western countries in the “fight against terrorism” in order to use it alongside illegal emigration as blackmail to achieve his own goals.

The news site Les Moutons Rebelles revealed in mid-August 2017 in reference to Edward Snowden that Morocco was part of a so-called Wasp Nest strategy aimed at bringing together terrorists from six countries, including Morocco, to train them and send them back to crisis areas. So Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi received military training from the Israeli Mossad in Jordan and in Morocco in communication and preaching. He also received practical training in Moroccan prisons, where Islamic prisoners served as practice objects. All this was sponsored by American, English and Israeli secret services. This undoubtedly confirms Morocco’s complicity in terrorism and not its fight against it. This has led Western governments to ask many questions about the King’s decision to pardon the Islamists who received instruction from the “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the Barcelona attacks.

The Spanish newspaper La Crónica reports in its Sunday 17 September 2017 issue that Morocco’s sponsorship of terrorism is no news or surprise and that the late king Hassan II used religion as a weapon of “dual rule”: control of citizens and control of Europe. Hassan II explicitly raised the issue of terrorism in 1994 when he wanted the EU to give him permission to export Moroccan tomatoes to the European market without taxes. The palace is the beneficiary of the export of agricultural products to Europe, agricultural products in Morocco are tax-free. The President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, told Hassan II that Spanish, Italian and French lobbyists were against it. Hassan II replied: “Well, I understand these difficulties, but if Morocco cannot export tomatoes, it will be forced to export terrorists”.

The newspaper continues: “Here we see the harmful game between the king’s father, who gave Europe the choice between exporting tomatoes or terrorists, and his son, the current monarch, who is silent about everything that happens in the Rif or the rest of Morocco, such as oppression, arrest, torture and corruption that paralyses the state or the export of terrorists. According to La Crónica, this is the “formula” that has governed the relationship between Morocco and Europe since Hassan II’s time.

The Palace and their use of Religion for Political power
The dilemma of the Moroccan system is that it cannot continue this blackmail game for long. In Europe and America, the number of voices calling for a review of the relationship with the terrorist empire and an end to its blackmail due to corruption and serious human rights violations in the Rif, in the (Western) Sahara and throughout the country is increasing.

The regime can no longer claim to apply a moderate Islam, since Morocco is an Islamic state and the king is the supreme commander of the faithful (read Muslims), the chairman of the Scientific Council (see Supreme Islamic Council). He dominates the religious field of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, which strictly supervises mosques. He spreads a unified speech in which the emir of believers is glorified and his deeds praised. Anyone who opposes his policies is seen as a foreign informant and separatist who tries to stir up the struggle between people.

Perhaps the mistake that Europe in general and Spain in particular have made is to allow the Moroccan regime have full access to the mosques by recruiting, training and funding imams, claiming that Morocco monitors the psychological safety in the diaspora. This strategy allowed the regime to spread terrorism in Europe and then say that it had nothing to do with these attacks, because the perpetrators were European citizens who could not integrate in Europe. Like the attacks in Barcelona. The Moroccan regime has declared itself innocent. The person who supervised a Moroccan imam confirms that he had already planned it in Morocco.

So the truth is the opposite of the official reading: Muhammad VI. It is not the modern king whom he wants to show in his speeches and deeds. He is worse than his father because, despite his so-called religious reforms during their reign, the Moroccans form a huge army of terrorists who are fighting in Iraq and Syria. 70% of the terrorist attacks that Europe has carried out in the last 15 years have also been carried out by Moroccans. Is this a coincidence?

The newspaper La Crónica wonders about the fact that the European secret services have highlighted the mystery that Moroccan terrorism is directed only at European countries such as France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Finland and it does not affect Morocco.

The newspaper does not say so because the Moroccan secret services effectively protect Morocco’s territory from terrorism. On the contrary, according to Yassine Mansouri, Director General of the DGED’s Directorate-General for Studies and Documentation, dozens of terrorist cells were dismantled between 2002 and 2014, around 12 jihadist cells (41 for Syria, Iraq and Sahel) were dismantled and 2667 extremists arrested. In addition, 276 attempts were prevented, including 119 bomb attacks on several targets such as official buildings, tourist resorts, diplomatic missions and Christian and Jewish houses of prayer. This raises many questions about its supposed effectiveness. This is what the newspaper proposes, operations organised and carried out by the secret services themselves to give the impression that the Moroccan secret services are more effective in the fight against terrorism than their Western counterparts and then present themselves as forced cooperation partners. That is the game.

With regard to the attacks on Moroccan territory — Casablanca in 2003 and Marrakech in 2011 — the former Minister of the Interior, Driss Basri, declared in Paris that the bomb attacks with 45 deaths, including 5 Spaniards, took place on 16 May 2003 in the Casa de España, the Italian restaurant, Farah Hotel and an Israeli synagogue, as well as a Jewish cemetery. The former minister declared immediately after the attacks against the correspondent of Al Jazeera: “The attack is not the work of Islamic groups inside or outside Morocco, not even by another foreign organization, but an internal job taken over by the regime”.

A similar case was the attack on the Café Argana in Marrakech on 28 April 2011. The Moroccan authorities attributed the attack of the Salafi Jihadist movement, which is too general and too broad in scope for various extremist groups to represent the ideological prohibition of all — including Qaeda. However, the results of the European intelligence services’ investigations into the fight against terrorism did not shed light on this gelatine-like organisation, as there is no information to confirm its existence.

However, it is remarkable, the paper writes, that the attacks in Casablanca in 2003 helped the regime to control the Islamists because of the massive arrests and at the same time silence the media, which led to a decline in freedoms. During this time Mohammed VI became one of the richest kings in the world.

It is clear that Morocco is benefiting from the attacks on its territory and in Europe, according to the newspaper quoted by former minister Driss Basri. This underlines that the objective of the attacks of May 2003 was achieved both in terms of restricting freedoms and controlling Islamists (more than 7,000 detainees).

At the same time, the king was given enough time to outrun his wealth and became the seventh richest king in the world, while poverty and repression among the Moroccan population increased dramatically.

The paper notes that the attacks of Argana in Marrakech have helped the regime to significantly limit the February 20 movement and call for a war against tyranny and corruption.

Félix Sanz Roldán, director of the Spanish intelligence agency Centro Nacional de Inteligencia CNI, reports in a confidential report presented to the Council of Europe’s interior and defence ministers in May 2011 that Morocco has taken an important “strategic step” in Spain. The purpose of this strategy is to increase its influence and control over what the report calls “Moroccan colonies”, using religion as a weapon. This strategy was conceived and developed by the Alawieten regime.

In a report on the financing of Islam in Spain, the National Statistics Institute presents the Instituto Nacional de Estadística INE, another example of the use of Islam for political purposes. In November 2008, the Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs held a meeting in Marrakech attended by numerous imams and leaders of Muslim communities in Spain. During this large meeting, the Imams were promised funding for their organizations and mosques in exchange for their loyalty to the Moroccan concept of the State of Islam. The question asked by the Spanish secret service at the time was: What is the relationship between the head of the DGED secret service, Yassine Mansouri, and religion, to organise this meeting of Imams who worked for DGED in Spain?

The game is based on the use of the Moroccan Intelligence Jihadist map to blackmail Europe in general and Spain in particular. The regime has already managed to put pressure on Europe to give up the Sahrawi support, which demands the independence of the Western Sahara and the pressure not to support the Rif and to mention corruption and human rights abuses of the regime, otherwise one fears that the Rif people’s movement will turn into a rebellion movement.

Religion has been transformed from a time of the emirate of believers into a weapon that protects corruption and legitimises injustice and tyranny. The problem is that those who support terrorism and use it as a weapon against their own people and against the peoples of Europe say that “moderate” Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and that Morocco has nothing to do with terrorism.

Source: http://www.panorama.today/%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%81-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B1%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%81%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%83-%D8%A7/

Translated by: Najat M.

Chronology of the Battle of Anwal

The battle of Anwal/Annual was fought between the Riffian anti-imperial forces units, led by Abdelkrim El Khattabi, and the Spanish army, led by Manuel F. Silvestre and Felipe Navarro, that had its military headquarters located in Annual. The victory of the Riffian independence forces was so devastating that the leader of the Spanish battalion in Annual, Manuel F. Silvestre, committed suicide after the battle.

The military conflict started on the first of June 1921 when 500 Riffian militants attacked the Spanish forces in Dhar Obaran which they liberated from the Spanish imperials. Annual fell to the Riffian forces on the 21st of July 1921.

Below, a chronological order of events concerning the battles between the Riffian liberation soldiers and the Spanish imperial troops:

the Spanish occupation of Arif did not go easy and without resistance of the Riffian people. The Riffian leader Mohammed Amezian from Azghenghane led the Riffian resistance forces from 1909 until 1912 when he died on 15 may when he was fighting on the battlefield in Ait Sidel. After Mohamed Amezian, the Riffian front weakened under the leadership of Mohamed Heddo El Azouzi, that took the responsibility to reorganize the Riffian resistance force against the Spanish imperial occupation. After the death of El Azouzi in 1915, the resistance front got weakened even more thoroughly. This left a vacuum in the Riffian leadership. This moment of lack of leadership was exploited by the Spanish and one by one they bought off or simply took over Riffian tribes with the power of surplus man and firepower.

While this was all going on, the Khattabi family was trying to negotiate with the Spanish to convince them that peaceful economic and political relation maintenance would be better for both peoples. Abdelkrim El Khattabi was of this opinion for quite some time. In 1920 he realized that the Spanish were not in the Rif for peaceful negotiations but for economic exploitation to strengthen the imperial needs of Spain. France would also have a similar vision, although France professionalized its exploitation strategies more thoroughly and penetrated Morocco in the economic sense more deeply.

-1920: Abdelkrim El Khattabi (The father) declares ware to the Spanish Imperial army. At the end of June that same year he had 2000 soldiers under his command with which he decides to form a military base located at Wdhia, in the tribal area of Tafersit. The goal of this military base was to form a buffer/blockade to Spanish imperial forces passing the area to gain more land in the Riffian area. This blockade was successful for 20 days, after which he was poisoned by collaborators that forced him to get back to Ajdir on 07/08/1920. After one day of Abdelkrim El Khattabi’s trip to Ajdir, the Riffian forces that stayed at the camp were overrun and lost to the Spanish after a quick and massive attack on Tafersit.

– Spain used the method of buying off Riffian loyalty to the rebellion of people that had an influence on their tribes. These bought off tribe-leaders would then tell their tribesmen that a contra force against the Spanish would be ineffective and would only lead to severe losses. Spain also had many Riffian infiltrators who would stoke and generate friction within the unifying body force of Abdelkirm. The goal of these infiltrations was to tire the forces and prevent total unification against the imperial forces. As an example for those cases of infiltration: Spain had infiltrated the Ibaqqoyen and Ait Wayagher tribes and had 40 so-called ‘friends’, of which also the family of El Khattabi until 1920. 25 of these important figures and so-called ‘friends’ of the imperial forces, received monthly salaries of 75 pesetas for their collaboration.

– Even though the Spanish military tried to bribe Riffians and set them up against each other, the will of Abdelkrim El Khattabi to liberate the Riffian lands, remained influential and strong among the Riffian followers and fighters. Mohamed, the son of Abdelkrim El Khattabi took over the position of his father that died as a result of poisoning. Mohamed came to be known by the name of his father  Abdelkrim Al Khattabi. His real name was Mohamed or Mohend, as the Riffians call him. Mohend Abdelkrim El Khattabi organized a meeting with the Ait Wayagher tribe in Imzouren. The meeting was joined by the leaders of Ait Wayagher and a couple of fighters from surrounding tribes. During the meeting, the decision was made to set up a military revolt against the Spanish imperial forces. Also, the decision was made to end feuds between certain tribes and families.

– 05 December 1920. Spain occupies the tribe of Ait Oulichek and subsequently the tribe of Ait Said. All the tribes east of this geographically linked line fell to the Spanish between 1912 and 1920.

– 12 januari 1921. Spain ooccupies Sidi Hsayn and Ras Afaro.

– 15 January 19121. Spain occupies Annual after they strengthened their camps in Ben Tayeb and Driouch (that fell to the Spanish previously). Annual is located in the tribal area of Ait Oulichek that neighbors the tribe of Temsamane and is also close to the highlands of Ait Said. Annual is distanced 16 km from Ben Tayeb, 35 km from Driouch and 106 km from Melilia.

– 12 ch 1921. Spain occupies Sidi Driss where the Amegan river mouths. Abdelrkim Elkhattabi had already warned the Spanish not to cross the Amegan river.

– 13 April 1921. Spanish cannons were set up on the island of Noukour, localized in front of the bay of Alhoceima, to bombard a weekly market in Ait Wayagher. This was meant as a punishment because the unwelcome attitude of the notables of the tribe towards the Spanish Resident-General Berenguer. The canons also bombarded a couple of residential buildings surrounding the market in Ajdir. This bombardment of civilian targets resulted in some deaths and casualties but did not reap the desired effect (fear and terror). Instead of fleeing their houses, the Riffians of Ait Wayagher grabbed their flint rifles and shot at the artillery position on Nekor. This was, of course, a symbolic response as the firepower of the used flint rifles and projectiles was not effective enough to reach the Spanish artillery forces. Abdelkrim spoke to his people uttering the following words: Dying while you protect your land is better than surrendering to an infiltrator. In the end, the bombardment from the island of Nekour had the opposite effect. The Riffian tribes even more strongly and increased their alliance to the resistance lead by Mohend El Khattabi.

– Notables of Temsamane were doubtful about the resistance against the Spanish imperial forces. Many of them followed the orders of the Spanish to spare their people from suffering. As a result of these developments and because Temsamane was of strategic value to the Riffian resistance, a camp was built at the end of y 1921 on the mountain of Qama. This camp was had 500 fighters defending it. Their main task was to keep an eye on any Spanish. In April, the camp was strengthened with even more fighters. In total there were 3000 fighters from Ait Wayagher, Ibaqqoyen, Ait Touzine and Rabae n Truggut (subtribe of the Ait Temsamane tribe)

-13 April 1921. The Riffian resistance spreads to two other camps in Sidi Boyaccoub and in the place called Aliman close to Sidi Chaib. This was to watch the Spanish front Annual-Sidi Driss alertly to evade any surprise attacks. The resistance was planning to build up a camp on Dhar Abaran to control the perimeters over the river Ameqran.

-General Silvestre, a friend of the king of Spain Alfonso XIII, supreme commander of the army in Melilla (that was responsible for the eastern and mid area in the Rif) and leader of the Spanish offensive, underestimated the creation of the Riffian camp on the Qama mountain. Silvestre thought that Abdelkirm was just planning to elevate his negotiation position with the Spanish, but after the formation of two other camps, Silvestre realized Abdelkrim had different plans. The Spanish general had plans to cross the Ameqran river in August or September. To subsequently occupy the Abaran mountain. The growing numbers of Riffian fighters made him deice to come into action faster than planned. Especially after some bought Riffian off traitors told the Spanish that most Riffian fighters and their leader Abdelkrim left the Qama camp to attend a meeting in Sidi Bouhfaf.

– 01 June 1921 (24th day of Ramadan). At 01:00, 1500 Spanish soldiers march to occupy Abaran under the lead of Villar and accompanied by 485 mules that were packed with ammunition and food. Even though the mountain is located only 6 km away from Annual, it took the Spanish troops roughly 4 hours to reach the top of Abaran. At their arrival, the Spanish quickly transformed the mountaintop into a strong camp surrounded by trenches, barricades and barbed wires. After the reinforcements and fortifications on this camp were finished, most soldiers returned to the base in annual. Only 278 soldiers remained at Abaran as a defensive unit. 200 of them were Riffian . The Abaran camp had two canons at her disposal.

-01 1921. At sunrise, the Spanish military activity on Abaran surprized the Riffian fighters in Qama. They sent signals quickly to the other positions to let everyone know the Spanish crossed the Ameqran river and that Abaran fell to the Spanish. Within no time they arrived with a force of 500 Riffian fighters that took the responsibility to retake Abaran from the Spanish. This Riffian force was divided into three parts, the first group attacked Abaran from the west (from Ait Bouyacoub), the second group attacked from the north en the third group attacked from the east (from the village of Ifassia). The Riffian siege began at 15:00 and ended at 17:00. The fight lasted 2 hours and resulted in a Riffian victory and the liberation of Abaran.


– Only 20 Spanish (some sources report 6) managed to reach Annual. Fifty of the two hundred soldiers survived the attack.

– Roughly 150 soldiers were killed among which a couple of officers. The Riffians took two canons, flint rifles, machine guns, ammunition, and food. Food was important around this time. Arif was dealing with a heavy famine that made it easy for many Riffians to collaborate to remain in life.

– The attack took the lives of four Riffian fighters.

After the liberation of Abaran the Riffian fighters attacked the Spanish camp in Sidi Driss, but the attack failed because Sidi Driss was better defended and the Riffian had a hard time breaching the barbed wires around the perimeter.

After Abaran the roles were switched. The Riffian forces went in the offensive mode and the Spanish went to hide in camps around Annual. These camps were fortified. The victory of the Riffians in Dhar Abaran spread quickly between the tribes and convinced many doubting Riffians to join the cause and ranks of Mohend  El Khattabi that rapidly counted around 4000 fighters. The role of women should not be underestimated. These women were the main spreaders of news of the resistance around the tribes. The Riffian women operate as motivators and kept the men focussed as they chanted izran about the heroic acts of their men that were defending their lands.

– 12 June a Special unit of the Riffian forces that had proved their capacities in previous battles, crosses the Ameqran river.

– On the 14th of June, the group d at Amzawrou at which the Spanish had a camp for a certain period. Amzawrou lies in the heart of Temsamane shortly distanced from the Spanish camp in Boumejjan and 9 km from Annual. Between Amzawrou and Boumejjan there was a natural geographical barrier that made it hard for the Spanish forces in Annual to watch the Riffians in Amzawrou. On the 14th of June, the Riffians were attacked from Boumejjaan and Annual. The Spanish wanted to push them out of their strategic location. The Riffian forces were under constant suppression fire so they decided to hide at daytime and to dig trenches at night time. When the got far enough the Amzawrou camp became an important position for the Riffian military resistance

– To keep an eye on the Riffians in Amzawrou the base in Annual sent a group consisting of 50 soldiers to scout an area close to Sidi Brahim and between Amzwroue and Annual, on a daily basis. These Spanish scouts watched the Riffians during the day and returned to their camp in Annual at night time.

– On the 15th of June, a group of 50 soldiers leaves Annual to never return. The group was killed by Riffian flint rifle soldiers. Even though they had canon cover from the hills, the fight ambush did not take roughly 10 minutes and resulted in roughly 200 deaths and casualties.

– When sidi Ibrahim fell into the hands of the Riffian forces the resistance continued with secret contacting of the mercenaries that fought for Spain. Also fast and short lasting attacks were executed by the Riffian fighters with a quick change of position to distract the Spanish forces and keep them busy with extrapolating where the next attacks could take place and where the weak spots would be in the defensive fronts of the resistance.

– On the 17th of June, the Spanish forces arrive in Ighriben that lies in Temsamane, near Tizi Azza and distanced from Annual with 6 km in the direction of Ben Tayeb. 500 Spanish soldiers under the lead of the famous Benitez, built their fortifications and transformed Ighriben in a strongly defendable camp. The Riffian response was rapid. Thee Riffian units attacked the fortified base from two directions. The first group attacked from Sidi Bouacoub and the second from Tizi Azza. The Riffian fighters did not succeed to retake the base and thus surrounded it from different positions. The Riffian found the weak spot of the Spanish forces protecting the base. The Ighriben camp was located 4 km from the closest water source in Sidi Abderrahman. From their camp in the situation. Silvestre sent several units to break the Riffian encirclement and to transport water to the military base. Not a single convoy managed to reach the base at Ighriben and every trial failed. All units were defeated and the forces were forced to retreat to Annual with many casualties in the process.

– On 17 June The Spanish forces arrived in Ighriben, a location that lies in Temsamane, closeby Tizi Azzza and 6km from Annual in the direction of Ben Tayeb. 500 Spanish soldiers under the lead of the now famous Benitez built their fortifications and transformed Ighriben into a strong camp. The Riffian response was however fast. Two Riffian units executed a collective attack on the Spanish. The first group attacked from Sidi Bouyacoup and the second group from Tizi Azza. The Riffian fighters did however not manage to retake the heavily fortified camp and so it was encircled. The Riffians knew to find the weak spot of the camp in Ighriben. The camp was 4km away from the closest water source that was located in Sidi Abderrahman. From the camp in Sidi Btahim, the Riffians encircled the camp to prevent the Spanish from restocking their water reserves. The Spanish tried several times to occupy the water source of Sidi Abderrahman with every trial losing a significant amount of men, weapons, and ammunition due to the sniper fire of the Riffian fighters. It was clear the Spanish were encircled critically in Ighriben and the for water only the situation in the long run. Silvestre sent several units to break the Riffian siege and restock the encircled camp in Ighriben with water. Not a single convoy could reach the location without getting destroyed by the Riffian forces. All the intervening forces were forced to return to Annual after having to take heavy casualties.

– 700 Riffian soldiers besieged the Spanish military camp in Ighriben. They dug themselves in small and deep trenches along the most important routes that lead to Ighriben along the Aghzar Hmam river that separates Ighriben from Annual. Along with this line, 100 Riffian fighters were positioned. They were the most brace and skilled fighters from the resistance that were known within the army of Abdelkrim as one of the best sharpshooters.

– The siege of Ighriben lasted for 5 days from 17 July until 22 July.

– 18 July 1921. Riffian fighters bombard the Spanish forces in Ighriben with the canons they obtained in the previous battle in Abaran. The first couple of shots fell far from their targets. But as the Spanish noticed in Annual, the Riffian fighters learned with eager will and haste. The canons started to hit targets which had a huge impact on the moral of the Spanish Imperial forces. Not only in Ighriben but also in Annual and the rest of the camps, the Spanish had to often see how their soldiers were killed by their own weaponry and artillery fire.

– 19 July 1921. The Spanish imperial forces use their air force to break the siege, with little to no result.

– 20 July 1921. General Navarro arrives in Annual traveling from Melilia accompanied by 1400 soldiers. Abdelkrim El Khattabi (also called Moulay Mohend) saw the possibility of demoralization. To prevent this from happening he visited his forces at the front and spoke to them in a way that gave them bravery and focus. Abdelkrim called Benitez (Leader of the Spanish Imperial forces in Ighriben) to cease fire and return to Annual, but Benitez refuses the proposal of Abdelkrim because he was expecting the joining of the forces of general Navaro soon. Benitez chose to wait for the reinforcements of Navaro. Even though his troops were drinking the juice of potatoes and sometimes even their own urine as a result of lacking water reserves at their position.

– 21 July 1921. As expected by Abdelkirm, Silvestre and Navarro led the attack on the Riffian positions personally. Three thousand Spanish soldiers participated in this operation. The military activities started in the early morning and lasted for more than 8 hours. The Riffian positions stood their ground and sharpshooters hidden inside hidden trenches dealt great damage to the attacking Spanish forces. It was clear for Silvestre and Navarro that the Riffian positions were stronger than they previously thought. After the sight of seeing the casualties pile up, Silvestre ordered his troops to recapitulate and head back to their base in Annual.

– 21 July 1921. On the night of the same day of the retreat from sniper fire, Silvestre ordered Benitez to clear out the camp in Ighriben and return to Annual. It was a suicidal mission, considering the fact that the Riffians had already encircled Ighriben. Still, Benitez follows the orders his general Silvestre. Just 9 soldiers (some sources claim 20) reached Annual. At the end of that long day, 50 Riffian fighters died and 165 got wounded. The retake of Ighriben resulted in the takeover of 4 large cannons, mules (that were used for the transport of equipment and food) and weaponry consisting mainly of flint rifles and machine guns.

-After the fall of Ighriben, the moral of the Spanish soldiers fell to a rock-bottom. Especially after the stories of the survivors were shared among Spanish forces spread out over Arif. At the other side, the Riffian moral was high. This was mainly because the resistance was looking more and more like an army defending its people. This was mainly due to the strategic implementations of Abdelkrim El Khatttabi.

After the fall of Ighriben, the Riffian forces strengthen the grip on Annual and aligned themselves along the Aghzar Hmam in front of the gates of Annual at wich roughly 6000 Spanish soldiers were stationed with more than 84 canons. The Riffian resistance form at that time and location consisted of 1500 fighters. Even though this high difference in numbers the Riffians could still operate effectively by using Guerrilla tactics like spreading out and opening fire from many directions. Because the Spanish imperial forces are used to imperial style warfare this spread out tactic of the Riffians gave them the impression they were fighting a 10.000 strong Riffian force. The low morale and fear on the Spanish side also played a role in this over expectation they had of the capabilities of the Riffians to dissolve their forces.

– 22 July 1921 Silvestre negotiates with the Spanish army elites about the possible actions to be taken. After heated discussions between the different generals and officers, the decision was made to launch a surprise attack on the 24th of July and after that push the Riffian fronts with large numbers. Two of Abdelkrimsbe involved, the total estimation of firepower that would be used and the moral of the military at the camp.

– 23 Juli 1921. The Spanish base in Annual was completely encircled by the Riffian forces. Abdelkrim El Khattabi was ready to send the signal of attack but waited on the play of Silvestre.

– 24 Juli 1921 The Spanish air force and Artillery division bombs the surrounding areas of Annual to increase chaos and spread among the Riffian positions. In the night of that same day, Riffian collaborators, led by the Riffian traitor Bouthnachnouchth.

– 25 July 1921. At 10:00 Silvestre orders his soldiers to clear out the camp and return to Ben Tayeb. Navaro remained in Annual with a unit to cover the units that were moving out. However the preplanned stable coordination the execution ended up in total chaos. Soldiers did not follow the orders of their officers. It was a kind of free for all situation. Every Spanish soldier tried to save his own life with severe consequences for the entire army. Only a small group of soldiers survived and managed to reach Arouit via Driouch. It is at Driouch that a big disaster was awaiting the Spanish imperial forces.

– After the fall of Annual, the Spanish positions (Boumejjan, Tmamist, Ben Tayeb, Dar Bouzian, Driouch, Dar El kebdani etc) fell to the Riffian forces. A lot of these positions were liberated without any military operations. In Sidi Driss, there was a military between the Spanish and Riffian forces with the Spanish being supported from the sea. After this conflict, also Sidi Driss fell to the Riffian forces.

– Every tribe that was liberated, joined the imperial opposition forces which made the number of fighters grow constantly. At the same time, it was more difficult to control all these tribes and the growing number of men joining the forces. Many of those tribesmen had an uncontrollable hate for the Spanish because of the not too old humiliations they experienced.

– 02 Augustus 1921. Fighters besiege Nador, some of the newly joined fighters don’t conform to the behavior codes/orders of Abdelkrim El Khattabi and were out to plunder the property of the Spanish colonists that were to be found in Nador at that time. After this plundering happened Abdelkrim sent a group of organized fighters to Nador to restabilize the matter, make the plunderings stop and most importantly stop the Riffan fighters that were motivated to hurt Spanish civilians in name of revenge.

-03 Augustus 1921. Liberation of Selouane.

– Since 02 August 1921, the Spanish camp Arouit was besieged by the Riffian resistance forces. It was a strategic location 40 km from Melilia. The camp on the highest point of Monte arouit had vision over the Bouaarg valley and from Arouit, the mines in the Ikhsan mountain and the used railways could be protected. The Spanish had 3000 soldiers at this base of which 70 officers. The siege lasted 10 days during which the Spanish did not any water nor food. This forced Navaro to negotiation with Moulay Mohend. The mediators in this negotiation process were Driss Bensaid (official for the Spanish in Titawin/Tetouan) and Benchellal, a notable from Ait Bouyafrour. A deal was made between Abdelkrim and Navaro. It was requested of Navaro to order his soldiers to leave the base leaving weapons and ammunition behind. If they accepted Abdelkrims terms he would guarantee a safe passage out towards Melilia.

On the 12th of August, the Spanish army cleared out its camp according to the terms. However, a couple of Spanish soldiers could not accept the defeat and kept some weapons with them. These soldiers surprised the Riffians when they started shooting. As a reaction, the Riffians started shooting back. Unarmed Spanish soldiers were also hit by this unexpected conflict. Abdelkrim was very upset about this event considering the fact that 2000 Spanish soldiers and only 70 Riffians died. 400 Spanish troops were taken as prisoners of war of which also general Navaro. Abdelkrim was outraged about the killings of unarmed Spanish soldiers or captives of war that were attacked by Riffian forces while the codes of war were made clear by Abdelkrim for the whole resistance force.

– The Riffian fighters of the recently liberated tribes had a deep-rooted hatred for the imperial Spanish forces that occupied their lands for many years, during which many Riffian lost relatives. The raping of women, stealing of fertile land and gifting to Spanish colonists was also common in many areas. When the Riffian forces saw how the Spanish collapsed they felt it was the right time to deal the blows of bitter revenge.

– Arouitin Melilia. After the fall of the camp in Annual Melilia had no defense perimeter and was basically to be liberated by Abdelkirm without any significant military resistance or risk of casualties. Against all odds, Abdelkrim did not give the order to storm take Melilia. Melilia did only have a few soldiers to maintain order and there were large crowds of people who were trying to get on boats to flee the city and cross the Mediterranean sea. A state of chaos and fear was existent in the harbor city and Abdelkrim refrained from sending in his troops out of fear that his soldiers would act in name of revenge. Something that went against his codes of war.

– The battles started on op 01-06-1921 and ended with the surrender of Navaro on 12-08-1921, in 72 days the Riffian forces of Abdelkrim achieved to liberated what the Spanish had captured in 11 years of military occupation. In 72 days the Spanish lost more than 15.000 soldiers and 1.100 Spanish soldiers were taken as prisoners of war. The Riffian forces gained 192 canons, 350 machine guns, 20.000 flint rifles, a couple of million munition rounds, other ammunition, food, medicine, transport animals like mules and other military equipment.

The consequences of the Annual battle:
– Silvestre commits suicide in Annual after the major defeat.

– The defeat of the Spanish at Annual led to the coup of 1923. Primo de Rivera removed king Alfonso as the ruler of Spain and took over as a dictator. This event was consequently the main reason for the Spanish civil war between 1936 – 1939.

– This major victory gave Abdelkrim El Kattabi more momentum as an influential leader. He managed to unify the Rfiffian tribes even more effectively.

– The large quantities of weapons and ammunition that were acquired on the battlefield, were sufficient to reequip, strengthen and organize the Riffian Army in more effective ways.

– 18 September 1921: Creation of the independent Rif Republic with Abdelkrim El Khattabi as president.

– The Rif Republic survived from 1921 until 1926. During this period it fought a brutal war against a coalition consisting of French, Spanish, British, and Alaoui forces. The British provided the coalition with a guaranteed sea blockade that made it impossible for Arif to receive food, aid or weaponry to defend itself. Germany was also involved by providing and allowing the use of chemical weapons by the Spanish imperial forces on the Riffians. These chemical weapons have to lead to higher rates of cell mutations and thus high occurrences of cancer in the later generations that stem from the Riffians that were affected by these German chemical weapons. A military force between 700.000 and 900.000 in size, was forged to fight the Riffians in this pacification and destruction of any opposition to imperial exploitation by the French and Spanish forces. The Riffian forces of Abdelkrim El Khattabi consisted of a mere 70 thousand fighters. The population size of the whole Rif area at that time consisted of roughly 500.000 people.

The Rif region was attacked with tonnes of chemical bombs sometimes wiping out complete villages when dropped ad hoc. There was also a relatively large amphibious landing at the coast near Sabadilla. The goal of the amphibious landing was to isolate Ajdir and capture it. The land offenses but especially the chemical bomb raids were too devastating and would lead to immense casualties if a surrender was not handed over.

On the 26th of May 1926, the Republic of Abdelkrim and his fighter fell. The technical war was lost due to a severe difference in firepower and military capacity and the use of chemical weapons. Abdelkrim had to surrender to prevent large domestic casualties. Briefly, after the fall of the republic, the leader of the Riffian army was exiled and put far away from the land he loved the most and wanted to free like a dove in a cave.

More than 70 generals, hundreds of military airplanes, battleships and the most modern weaponry built at that time were needed to destroy a small army of flint rifled farmers. Abdelkrim El Khattabi knew how to unify simple men and women to fight for their independence. The urge for freedom in Arif still lives on in the hearts of the children of those men and women who saw the ambition of the imperials and did not surrender. Even though the Riffians lost the war against the overpowered coalition, the dream and the vision of their leader Abdelkrim still whirls inside the minds and hearts of many Riffians and Imazighen today in Tamazgha. Defeating Abdelkrim by overpowering his independence rebellion and taking away his homeland by putting him in exile the Imperials have done. Instilling his vision in the minds of his people, however, is a victory that the Imperials could never take away from him.

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