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