On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year air officers made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on the return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.
In the near future, the Amazigh Informatie Centum will reconstruct this historical event by publishing short articles. We will do this by means of testimonies of persons who were present during this incident, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, published books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.
Oufkir paid a visit to the Kenitra airbase
After becoming Minister of Defence, Oufkir often visited the Kenitra airbase. The Minister of Defence interviewed the airbase personnel and asked them about their situation and wishes. One of the soldiers at this airbase, Midaoui El Yazid, told him his story. He announces to the general that he has been a long-time junior non-commissioned officer, and if he is not promoted to the rank of non-commissioned officer he will remain a junior non-commissioned officer all his life. Oufkir replied: “Tomorrow you will be promoted”. The next day the papers from Rabat came to Kenitra for the promotion of Miadoui.
Oufkir was working to gain Amekrane’s trust. The general was invited by Amekrane to Kenitra to open a new mess for non-commissioned officers at Kenitra airbase. When the colonel asked the general what he wanted to call the new NCO mess, Oufkir replied: “We’re going to call him Amekrane”.
Translated by: Najat M.
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By Riftime — 4 years ago
The Moroccan army committed a failed coup on July 10, 1971 against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year Air Force officers commit a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on the return trip from France, was attacked in the air by fighter jets.
In the near future, the Amazigh Information Centum will publish more short articles on this historical event. We will do this by means of testimonies of persons who were present during this incident, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad or referencing books of critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith or various newspaper articles.
Port Lyautey / Kenitra, largest US army base
The United States built military bases, radar stations and other military facilities in Morocco during the Second World War and the Cold War. The US defense personnel were permanently present in Morocco. The naval and air force base Kenitra was built by France in 1933 during the French occupation. The area where the base is located was conquered by the US in 1942 from the French Vichy regime during Operation Torch.
Nearly 10,000 Americans were stationed at Kenitra Air Force Base in the 1950s, making Kenitra the largest US overseas base outside of Japan. It was a closed American town within Morocco with all necessary facilities. Kenitra is located at a distance of 40 km from Rabat. After 1956, the Moroccan air force also used part of this air base where the Moroccan third air force base is housed (BAFRA 3). The American army left Kenitra’s army base in 1977.
Translated by: Najat M.
By Riftime — 4 years ago
In recent years there have been protests in Morocco in various sectors and regions. People claim their share of the country’s wealth, such as fishing, phosphate and other raw materials that the country is rich in.
Africa’s largest silver mine
In Imider the province of Tinghir there is the largest silver mine in Africa (seventh largest silver producer in the world). The local population doesn’t benefit from it, even worse, the mining company makes the lives of these people more difficult, it pollutes their drinking water and because the company consumes a lot of water, the people from the region have a water shortage. SMI (Société Métallurgique d’Imiter) is part of the Royal Holding Company and has been operating the Imider mine since 1978. This company did not hire people from the region as promised. In the last century, the people of the region have carried out various actions against the negative consequences of this mining operation. Since 2011 the people of Imider have founded a movement: On The Road ’96 -Imider, the purpose of this movement is to stand up for civil rights in Imider. The situation in the region has not changed for the time being.
Poor management and water scarcity are a very serious problem in Morocco, one of the causes of migration. In the southern Zagora region (Tazagurt) of 30,000 inhabitants, 700 kilometres from Rabat, people protested against water shortages in 2017, their protests were met with brutal violence and they were persecuted for participating in unauthorised demonstrations. The King’s response to the problems in Morocco is to build dams, but this has not yielded any results for the average Moroccan, nor does it provide a structural solution to these problems in the long term.
In the east of the country, in the Jerada area near the Algerian border, people also took to the streets after coal mines were closed in this area and people could no longer find work. These protests were also violently suppressed. There is a video in circulation of a boy, Abdelmoula Zaiker, who was deliberately chased by a police car, then hit and seriously injured, and who is now being treated in a hospital in Turkey. The driver of the police car was not even prosecuted.
Death of the fish merchant
In the Rif there were big protests after the death of the fish merchant Muhsin Fikri. These demonstrations were led mainly by young people; they demanded an honest investigation of the death of Muhsin Fikri under the motto: freedom, equality and social justice, they wanted to demonstrate peacefully in the whole Rif area. After six months, the government reacted to these protests by accusing them of being led, financed as separatist from abroad. Hereafter a great wave of arrests in the Rif, which has been a military area since 1958, began. So far, people have been arrested for waving the Rif flag, taking a photo of Abdelkrim Al Khattabi and criticizing the government.
During the large-scale demonstration in Al Hoceima on July 20, 2017, there was even one death, Imad El Attabi was probably killed by a bullet of the security forces during the peaceful demonstration: According to the Moroccan prosecution, an investigation was conducted into the death of this young Riffian, and neither his family nor the Riffians saw the results of the investigation.
The funeral of the activist Imad El Attabi and the death of others.
Many people attended the funeral of Imad El Attabi on August 9 in Al Hoceima, where they held a demonstration using tear gas from the Moroccan police. The Riffian Abdelhafid El Haddad had breathing difficulties and died on 18 August 2017. He left behind a wife and three children. According to several Riffian civilians, the Moroccan police used French tear gas, showing an expired use date.
Najim Abdouni was the chairman of a national “anti-corruption committee” and was familiar with major projects in Al Hoceima for which large sums of money were provided on paper but not or not fully implemented. He was also active in the Rif popular movement. On August 10, 2017, he was found outside his front door, seriously injured, and died the same day in hospital. The Moroccan judiciary had promised an investigation, but had not yet announced any results.
The King takes action
In a speech in 2017, King Mohamed VI praised the violent actions of his police and portrayed them as victims of the Riffian demonstrators. His Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit confirmed in Parliament that the Moroccan police had smashed the doors of civilians in the Rif. There are several videos on social media that clearly show that the Moroccan police terrorized the Riffians in the middle of the night and raided their homes without a search warrant: Private property was destroyed and the doors of defenseless Riffian houses were broken open.
Leaving for Europe
Thousands of demonstrators were filmed by the Moroccan police and then arrested and intimidated; even women and minors have not escaped these human rights violations. There are also stories of Morocco deliberately leaving its international borders unguarded so that young people can flee. The asylum seekers and reception centres in Europe are full of Riffian young people, especially in the Spanish enclave of Melilla. According to the latest news from the Rif, entire families fled the country. A number of Riffians were granted asylum, for example the activist Achraf El Idrissi in Belgium, the lawyer Abdessadek El Bouchtaoui in France, the activist Basset Lamrini in Spain. This year, Nawal Benaissa and her child have applied for asylum in the Netherlands. It is not known whether their application was granted.
Mitigations of the King
As a measure against the social protests, Mohamed VI reintroduced compulsory military service in Morocco this year after it was abolished in 2007. As a second clear measure, King Mohammed says in his speech of 20 August that Morocco will work on the development of rural areas and the agricultural sector and that some 50 billion dirhams are reserved for the period 2016 — 2022. The king also explains that it is not important to have a university degree, but to have a job, and refers his subjects to practical training (vocational training) and manual work.
The number of unemployed graduates in Morocco is increasing, and this is a danger for the regime, as they claim their rights and draw the attention of the uneducated Moroccans to their rights. This is why Morocco is slowly phasing out “free” education. Both measures are in favour of the monarchy: The entry into military service ensures the influx of personnel for the police forces.
The development of the agricultural sector also benefited the Moroccan monarchy, as Morocco’s best farmland was in the hands of the royal family and other Moroccan families who worked with the Spanish and French occupiers between 1912 and 1956. For this reason, the agricultural sector in Morocco is completely exempt from taxation. The royal company is the country’s largest producer and exporter.
Many thanks to Khalid Chamrouki and Pieter v/d Loo.
Translated by: Najat M.
Source: Amazigh Informatie Centrum
By Riftime — 9 years ago
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