Mohamed Amekrane was born in 1938 in Chaouen in the Rif. He comes from a poor family with seven children, of which he is the oldest. He studied at the military school of Toledo in Spain and continued his studies as a fighter pilot in France.
When Morocco bought Northrop F-5 fighter jets from the United States in the mid-sixties, pilot Amekrane started an internship in the US. He belongs to the first generation of Moroccan jet fighter pilots and makes a career in the Moroccan Air Force as a fighter pilot. Amekrane reaches the rank of lieutenant-colonel, holds the position of commander of the airbase of Kenitra, the jewel of the Moroccan Air Force where two squadrons of F-5 fighter jets are stationed. In 1972 he was promoted to sub-commander of the Moroccan Air Force.
Amekrane married in 1963 a German woman, Mellita, who was renamed Malika Amekrane. Together they had two children, Rachid (1964) and Yasmina (1965). Every month he sent part of his pay to his family. He speaks six foreign languages. He was suspected of participating in the Rif Revolt of 1958/1959 (during this period he did an internship in Marrakech).
Amekrane suffered from kidney cancer, and in 1972 he was admitted to a Parisian hospital for treatment of his illness. In the summer of that year he returned to Morocco, against the advice of the French doctors. He gave in to the pressure of General Mohamed Oufkir who needed the lieutenant-colonel in Morocco as a matter of urgency for his dark plans…
Translated by Najat M.
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By Riftime — 4 years ago
Dihani, the former Saharawi political prisoner, continues his live facebook broadcasting to disclose the realities inside Morocco horrendous prisons through his own experience and that of his inmates. After reciting the stages of the dreadful torture he underwent and how Morocco regime fabricates terrorist cells as described in a previous article in this site, he, this time, dwells on the jailed cannabis drug lord who was connected to high Moroccan political figures.
It was during one of the dark nights inside Tmara secret detention centre located south of Morocco capital, Rabat, that Daihani suddenly heard a car swerving its wheels on a stoney passage just beside his prison cell. He could see through a tiny wall opening an escorted detained Moroccan man calling in a high voice to bring him Ali Alhimma, the special secretary and closest friend of the king of Morocco. “ I need to talk to Alhimma. I must talk to him now. I’m talking to nobody till he comes over” Daihani reported the man saying.
The detained man was in fact a drug trafficker and he seemed to have been involved in a failed cannabis pact that aroused suspicion of his bosses. Though he spoke angrily, the heartless jailors who unmercifully tortured the political detainees stood speechless in front of that drug lord. Later in the same night another car showed up but this time carrying Ilias El Aammari, the leader of Morocco king’s party of Authenticity and Modernity.
As in the mafia movies, he stepped out of the car escorted by his bodyguards and heading towards the cell where the drug lord was incarcerated. It was only at that time that the torture began. Daihani pointed out that he could hear the drug trafficker screaming saying that he didn’t know the wherabouts of a shipment that obviously was about the cannabis drug of which Morocco is the leading exporter . The head of the Moroccan king’s political party himself stood supervising on his torture as the drug trafficker was suspected of diverting a drug shipment for his own benefit and there was no place better than that torture centre to make him confess about the true circumstances of that pact definitely worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The presence the president of Morocco king’s party, Ilias El Aammari and the drug trafficker’s incessant demands to call the closest friend and counsellor of the Moroccan king, Ali Alhimma is a clear cut evidence that cannabis intercontinental trafficking in Morocco is under the control, supervision and management of the highest political sphere in Morocco, the king’s palace and his Makhzen regime.
The Moroccan Authenticity and Modernity party was founded by Ali Alhimma the closest childhood friend of Morocco king. Many reports indicate that this political party was ordered by the king himself to outweigh the mounting role of the moderate islamic party, Justice and development still leading the current government. Ali Alhimma’s mission was to set the king’s party up and then post other figures to run it under the king’s direct control and supervision. With this story now, you make the connections and find the true boss of cannabis drug in Morocco.
For the record, in 2017, The US State Department has sounded the alarm over production of cannabis in Morocco claiming that the export of the drug and its processed by-products represents 23 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The kingdom, according to the State Department, remains one of the world largest producers and exporters of cannabis. Around 700 tons were produced between 2015 and 2016, the Department adds.
The export of the plant and its by-product, hashish, represents 23 per cent of the GDP, i.e. $100 billion.
Aside from cannabis, the Department report on drug also points out that the kingdom has become a transit point of cocaine smuggled into Europe due to its closeness with Spain.
By Riftime — 4 years ago
The history of the Rif is a history of struggle and resistance. the Rif is a mountainous region in North Africa, located on the border with Spain. There they have their own history and language that distinguishes them from the rest of the territory. In the twenties of the last century, during the Rif War, a self-proclaimed independent republic was proclaimed until a Franco-Spanish military intervention dissolved. Since then, many people have continued to fight and resist oppression and paternalism. Some of them had to fight into exile and further outside the borders of their country.
First World Congress
The first Rif World Congress was held in Figueres last weekend. The Casal Rifeny de Figueres invited to this event. The intention is for this to take place annually in different cities “in order to create synergies and exchange experiences”, comments a participant of the congress from Sant Feliu de Guíxols.
The international meeting began on Friday in La Cate with the reception of more than fifty Rifians from different parts of Europe to constitute the Congress. The next day a political conference was held by Natàlia Sànchez, member of the CUP in Parliament. Joan Plana, Deputy Mayor of the City Council of Roses; Karim Baraka, intellectual and philosopher from Germany; Mohamed Dabouz, President of the Izmulen pour les Droits At Mzab Association, and Yella Houha, well-known Shawyia activist, came from France; and Chekebkeb Hammou, a brother-in-law of Kamal Dine Fakhar, an Amazigh activist who died a few weeks ago during his hunger strike; and from Belgium, Musa Dunat, spokesman for the National Assembly of Rif (NAR), was present. Dozens took part in the ceremony, which included various musical performances and a play by Tarik Izm on the torture of political prisoners. The day ended with a tribute to the writer Chacha, who died in 2016.
Two equal fights
During the ceremony, the similarity of the fights between the people of the Rif and Catalonia was addressed. Sanchez showed solidarity with “the struggle for self-determination” and additionally condemned the oppression and imprisonment of activists by the Moroccan state and demanded freedom for all political Rif prisoners. The deputy reflected on the tradition of “looking to Europe, although we should look to the south, we have more in common with the Mediterranean neighbour”.
The congress ended on Sunday with a demonstration in Barcelona in which, according to the organisation, three thousand people took part
By Riftime — 3 years ago
On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year, air force officers committed a new coup. This time King Hassan II’s plane, on its return from France, was attacked in the air by fighter jets.
Amazigh Information Centre has reconstructed this historic event using a series of 17 articles. We have done this on the basis of testimonies from people who experienced this event, such as fighter pilot Salah Hachad, and on the basis of books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.
King Hassan II made good use of the failed attack on him and used it against the soldiers he wanted to eliminate. For example, in addition to imprisoning officers he did not trust, he retired a number of senior officers after the failed attack on Boeing 727. The posts of Minister of Defence and Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces were abolished in 1972.
Hassan II also used the failed coup against his subjects who are more than half illiterate and do not understand the ‘state languages’ of Morocco (Arabic and French). Thus, through radio and television, he let it be known that as a person he possesses extraordinary powers and that God is on his side and therefore survived this second armed attack. Because he is said to be a saint and a descendant of the prophet Mohamed. He also sent his shelled Boeing 727 to Mecca for pilgrimage and after his return he personally received the Hadj Boeing.
The human factor played a role in the king’s escape from death. The captain of King Hassan’s Boeing 727, his private pilot Major Mohamed Kabbaj was a fighter pilot and colleague of the attacking fighter pilots, so he received the same training, had technical knowledge of the F-5 fighters and he knew the qualities of the pilots and all this together enabled him to make a good analysis of the situation and to take the right action when the F-5 fired the first shots at the Boeing 727.
Kabbaj reportedly resigned from the Moroccan Air Force to work as a civilian pilot for the Moroccan national airline Royal Air Maroc RAM before Hassan II appointed him as his private pilot. In the Moroccan Air Force he was listed as a good fighter pilot.
Other factors that contributed to a safe landing of the Royal Boeing: the altitude of the 727 and the distance to the airfield, if the airfield was further away there is a good chance that the Boeing 727 would not have made it to the runway. When the Boeing was attacked by F-5’s it was 15 minutes away from the runway of Rabat-Sale airport. General Oufkir had not given Colonel Amekrane space to deploy more armed fighters or to involve more people in the putsch. At the very last moment the technicians were ordered to arm the three F-5 fighters. The pilots did not have a briefing on the day of the coup about an air raid.
Coups don’t always succeed, even if they are carried out by powerful people in large organisations such as the KGB intelligence service. In 1991, an attempted coup in the former Soviet Union, despite participation in this coup of among others the head of the KGB, Vladimir Kruchkov, and marshal Dmitry Timofeyevich Yazo failed.
But the coup d’état may benefit those in power, such as the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses this coup as an excuse to deal with his opponents. And he has opened a manhunt for the Gülenists. Many possible supporters of the Gülen movement have been fired or arrested.
The coups in neighbouring Morocco, Algeria, did not bring any positive change to the country after colonel Houari Boumédienne carried out a coup in 1965. The same applies to Colonel Moammar al-Qadhafi of Libya, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, General Hafiz al-Assad of Syria and Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
– American pilots underwind problems with the F-5 guns in the Vietnam War. Tijdschrift Militairespectator (Dutch)
– Oufkir, un destin marocain, 1999, Stephen Smith (French)
– Notre ami le roi (1990, Gallimard; 1992, Folio) – A friendly head of state, Hassan II of Morocco, absolute monarch (French/Dutch)
– Kabazal – Les Emmurés de Tazmamart: Mémoires de Salah et Aïda Hachad, 2004, Abdelhak Serhane (French)
– Aboubakr Jamai, le Journal, 2001 Les dessous des cartes du putsch de 1972 (French)
– European Convention on Human Rights Year: 1973, Council of Europe/Conseil de L’Europe (English)
– Historical Dictionary of Morocco, Thomas Kerlin Park, 1996 (English)
– Article about the 1972 coup, The New York Times, 1972 (English)
– Century Witness, Salah Hachad, Al Jazeera Arabic 2009 (Arabic)
– La Prisonniere, Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi, 1999 (French, English, Dutch)
– Les jardins du roi: Oufkir, Hassan II et nous, Fatima Oufkir, 2000 (French/Dutch)
– European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Amekrane case (French)
– Livre blanc sur les droits de l’homme au maroc, 1991(French)
– Officers of Sa Majesté: Les dérives des généraux marocains 1956-2006, 2006, (French)
– Eighteen years of solitude: the imprisonment of the Bourequat brothers in Tazmamart. 1994, Ali-Auguste Bourequat (Dutch)
– Nancy Gatewood Touil, wife of a Mbarek Touil (English)