Ferhat Mehenni on Kabyle diplomacy: “We are ready” (interview)
Ferhat Mehenni devoted two interviews to the Moroccan press in which he called for the opening of a Kabyle diplomatic representation in Morocco. If several Moroccan voices were raised to support demand, in Algeria, in addition to the media blackout, two incitements to the murder of the Kabyle leader were published.
It is in this context that we have established ties with the president of Anavad to better understand his vision and strategy for conquering the international stage.
VAVA innova: What would be the use of having a diplomatic representation of Kabylia in Morocco?
Ferhat Mehenni: A diplomatic representation of a colonized people, like the Kabyle people, is the start of their liberation. This in itself is the recognition of its legitimacy to become independent. The Kabyle people will finally have a foothold on the international stage where their cause has gained visibility. The opening of a diplomatic representation is a very strong gesture of solidarity by the host country with the people struggling for their freedom.
Wouldn’t that be putting the cart before the horse, namely that not all the Kabylians still adhere to the independence of Kabylia?
Beyond the fact that we do not have to wait until “all the Kabyles”, as you say, are for independence, the war in Algeria is there to prove that this question is, nowadays, largely outdated. The Algerian war, it must be emphasized, is mostly the work of the Kabyles who left a lot of forces there.
After so many years of demonstrations of force through colonial electoral boycotts and marches, the concern is completely over. We are rather late compared to the expectations of the overwhelming majority of Kabyles who, on two occasions in less than a year, gave us masterful proof of their determination to live in an independent Kabylia: the presidential elections of 12/12 / 2019 and the constitutional revision of 01/11/2020. Colonialism and Algerian domination over Kabylia are unbearable to us. The Black Spring of 2001 passed there when Algeria killed for no other reason than the hatred of the Kabyle, 150 of our people and disabled 1200 others for life.
If you were to meet the King of Morocco, what would you say to him?
I would express to him the feelings of eternal gratitude of the Kabyle people for the historic support they give us.
There are those who say that even if Morocco recognizes Anavad, it is not because Morocco likes Kabylia but just to counter Algeria and the Polisario.
In diplomacy, it’s never about love. Every country, whatever it is, acts according to its own concerns. Diplomacy is the art of bringing together interests, even when they seem irreconcilable. But even if what you say is true, where is the problem for us that Kabylia is recognized by principle or by interest? Only the result counts.
Is it true that Western Sahara did not take part in the World Cup of Stateless Nations (CONIFA) because Kabylia was represented there?
Algeria got the Polisario admitted as a new member of CONIFA for the World Cup which was to be held initially in Somaliland, then in Serbia. The coronavirus pandemic has postponed everything. However, I think that the withdrawal of the Polisario from this edition of the World Cup was true. CONIFA had not communicated on the case, but I salute its firmness in the face of the blackmail exercised by the Polisario to participate only if Kabylia was excluded.
Anavad appears to be in tune with the United Arab Emirates, which seems to favor relations with Morocco and Israel while moving away from Algeria. Would you be ready to develop your relations with the United Arab Emirates?
Above all, we are consistent in our approach. We are ready to develop diplomatic relations with all states around the world. The Arab countries which agree to meet with us are to be greeted. We are ready to exchange in all friendship with them.
Your visit to Israel in 2011 hit the headlines. Today, the Arab countries seem to be racing to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
Those who normalize their relations with Israel are finally loosening their diplomacy for the happiness of their peoples. They are finally preparing a future of peace for their children.
Said Sadi (the democratic showcase of the despot Bouteflika )recently claimed that Kabylia is directly targeted by Qatar and Turkey with a project of Islamization, alienation, and domestication.
Colonial Algeria did not wait for the arrival of Turkey and Qatar to begin to salafize Kabylia. When Said Sadi was Bouteflika’s friend, salafization was already in full swing. The only force which preserves the Kabyle people from Islamism is their hope of independence of Kabylia.
Overall, one gets the impression that any diplomatic action on your part is seen by some as manipulation from abroad.
We did not expect to receive flowers from them! Our enemies, even our adversaries, can always accuse us of whatever they want. We destabilize their interests for the benefit of those of the Kabyle people. We know what we are doing and the scope of our actions. The negative judgments and condemnations of our diplomacy come only from those whose objective is to keep Kabylia captive, dominated, and destroyed. The Kabyle diplomatic caravan, by the way, still hears unfriendly voices which it refuses, for the moment, to deal with.
Two Algerian “journalists” have recently been talked about. Omar Touati called for your assassination and Bensedira spoke about your next assassination by the Moroccans.
Both are agents of the Algerian government. So there is surely a plan for my physical liquidation. One assumes it openly on behalf of the military and the other wants to wipe the knife off the backs of Moroccans.
The attempted assault I suffered on September 6 was a failed attempt.
Neither did the assassination of my son Ameziane in 2004 affect my resolve, nor my own assassination will stop Kabylia from moving towards independence. On the contrary, it will strengthen and galvanize it. Even dead, I will stand forever.
I salute all those who have supported me and denounced these appeals to kill me.
Shame on this Algerian political subclass and its human rights organizations that are silent out of complacency.
Finally, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of little Yanis, whose body was ultimately found lifeless. His disappearance moved all of Kabylia and we are all upset by this tragic outcome.