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Harassment of Ethnic Berbers on the Rise in North Africa

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image Police forces following anti-Mozabite clashes in Ghardaia, Algeria (left) and anti-Berber demonstrations in Yefren, Libya (R)

North Africa is home of the Amazigh people, also known as Berbers. Although widespread in the Maghreb region, the Berbers continue to suffer from a minority status everywhere in the region, with government often ignoring their basic ethnic rights demands at best, or even actively contributing to blocking any progress toward cultural and economic improvement.

Despite some tiny steps made here and there, from a questionable constitutional recognition to the launch of an embryonic linguistic program, the Berbers continue to suffer from harassment. If not always sanctioned by central governments, such harassments occur under the watchful but passive eye of the authorities. Two events in particular that have occurred recently point to the fragile state of Berber rights. The first occurred in the Algerian province of Ghardaia, the second in the Libyan town of Yefren. Continue reading here.

 

In the web:

. Warming up to more harassment in Yefren, Libya. Anti Berber activists on the offensive (video from youtube.com)

. Attack against the home of a local Amazigh activist (video from youtube.com)

. Coverage of the Amazigh problem by MBC TV in Arabic (video from youtube.com)

. Coverage of the Amazigh problem by Al-Arabiya TV in Arabic (video from youtube.com)

Comments (3 posted):

Lias Makcom on 29 March, 2009 06:21:55
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You are talking BS. Berbers in Algeria have everything, from their TV radio, and even their films. They have their University and their Soccer team is the best int the country and Africa for almost three decades. What are talking about?
Mark Belliveau on 05 February, 2011 08:07:58
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Dear Sir,

I can assure you that in Algeria, There are no Berbers at all, there are no Arabs at all.There are only Algerians.
Algeria is Algerian before and after all.

Cheers,
Tachawia Aures on 19 June, 2014 05:07:14
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Dear Sir, you have hit the nail on the head, the Aures has suffered the most from the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and French, almost wiped off the face of this Earth, yet we still have survived and many in the mountain areas of Aures have kept the Massyle (zenate tamazight) language alive.. Even betrayed by our own government after the war with France, we still survive, to this day the military takes our young men by force out of their homes never to been seen again. In 2005 a bomb dropped on the village of T'Kout killing , and destroying. Yet as you can see from the comments above they have no idea what goes on in the Amazigh areas really. Those who live outside the true Amazigh zones can not even imagine that this is Algeria. Areas with no water, gas, toilets in many homes, an area that time has stood still and forgotten that the Auresean were always the first to fight the battles of the invaders and the wars. But how to change things is another issue. First Tamazight needs to be in all schools in Algeria as it is the Indigenous language of the people of North Africa! No one should force us to be another race or force their immigrant language on us. If they do not like it, then return to the land of their ancestors, wonder how they would feel if their land was taken from them and a new language forced upon them.

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