(« Di Dewla n Ripublik » / « At the time of the Republic », as we still say in the Rif, and also in other regions of Morocco, when speaking about the Rif Republic).
The Rif Republic was built in Februry 1923 in the battle, honor and intelligence. It has been the starting event for the worldwide movement against colonialism in the way of struggles for political independence, committed after 1945.
The Rif Republic was built on the substrate of autonomous tribs, and it integrated with success, in only three years and limited means, many external contributions which permitted to built a moderne state and popular army.
Muhend Abdelkrim n At Khettab n At Yusef U Aâli, from the tribe At Waryagen, better known under the name « Mohamed Abdelkrim El Khettabi », has been the main organizer and actor. He managed to make and efficient synthesis from the Amazigh social and autonomous organization mode, the islamic reformism and the spanish modernity, in a high level of popular support and mobilization.
For the military aspect, armed rifian people defeated the spanish army, defeated the french army, and conducted a modernization project for their society where each citizen handles the gun as well as the sickle of the farmer.
Contrary to popular belief, the young Rifian Republic has not been defeated by the 100000 spanish soldiers, the 350000 french soldiers, the 44 battalions, the 73 military aicrafts that dropped 11307 bombs, where some of them with deadly gas, « gaz moutarde yperite», dropped by the command of Marechal Lyautey and Marechal Petain.
The defeat of the Rifian Republic in its dynamics of liberation and emanicpation, starting from the Rif, to encompass the entire country « from Ajdir to Agadir », and following to encompass Tamazgha, is due principally to arabo-islamic forces leaded by the Alaouite Sultan and several Zawiyas manipulated by colonial offices, french « Bureaux des affaires indigènes» and spanish «Oficinas de indigénas ».
During the year 1927, Muhend Abdelkrim recognized himself that from the main causes of the defeat : « the sheikhs have opposed me […] I must clarify that i found no incentive in the Rif to realize my reform proposals. Some small groups have understood my ideas and helped me… ».
The objective alliance of Sultan Moulay Yusef and France, after the infamous call in 1911 to the intervention of France by his brother Moulay Abdelhafid which led to the French protectorate in 1912, later transformed the liberation struggle (nationalists on one side of the Rif and other French and Spanish colonizers), in a civil war between Moroccans, in order to preserve the Alawite throne and the colony.
Sultan Moulay Yusef sent makhzen soldiers to fight against the Rif, he made his appeal read in mosques and markets of Fes, Taza and the region to encourage Moroccan not to follow Abdelkrim and fight it. In 1925, he asked more firmly to France: “I do not want to deal with Abdelkrim, I hope you rid Morocco of the rebel.”
When in 1925 the Rif people with weapons and the regular Rif army urged the deployment movement south to exit the Rif and spread throughout the region from Taza, Fes and Ouezzane and raising in their Movement tribes, to engage all of Morocco in the liberation war, the action of the Sultan and his accomplices in the Fassi bourgeoisie already manipulated society. Defections of many villages and tribes led to internecine fighting and put a brake on rapid action of Rifian liberators.
The book “Di dewla Ripublik” resumed the main stages of the uprising, the guerrilla organization and construction of the Rif Republic by explaining the internal mechanisms of society in its Amazigh reflexes mobilization, autonomy and efficiency to integrate new military concepts (unified command, guerrilla, mobility, training, defensive positions, …) and building a modern republic uncut from Amazigh culture (democratic assembly of the tribes, organization of justice, the Republican prison establishment hitherto unknown in Amazigh country, communication networks between tribes and villages, …).
This book fills the gaps in studies and articles have been published so far on this period more than ever current for North Africa.
It shows how the complicity of the Alawite dynasty with French colonialism has evolved since then the Rif war, diverted the national liberation movement in Morocco and North Africa, of strategic concern of Muhend Abdelkrim, integrating the Istiqlal party in their Arabo-Islamic vision (*).
The independence of Morocco granted in 1957 was the denial of Anwal battle and the Republic of the Rif. The action of Makhzen was the continuity of Arab policy of France, the Arab kingdom project of Napoleon III and the archaic model of society imposed by force, deception and mystification of power by monarchs and the urban bourgeoisie Arab-Islamic.
Today, the Republic of the Rif is for all Tamazgha country (North Africa, the Great Maghreb, etc..), a historic landmark and a prospect for future.
Rif Experience has shown that the culture of the people is paramount in all aspects of society, in its defensive struggles, as well as in his building projects and progress.
The book “Di Dewla Ripublik “ ends with a very optimistic reflection of Muhend Abdelkrim : “I am convinced that my hopes will be realized sooner or later, by the very force of things …”
(*) Note: Arab-islamic is not about ethnicity, because Moroccan monarchs are ethnically Amazigh as well as the majority of inhabitants of North Africa, whether Amazigh or Arabic speaking. The current king, Mohammed VI, should have no complex about his Moroccan / Amazigh identity ; his mother, Fatima Amehruq U Hemmu, comes from the famous family of resistants to colonization, Muha U Hemmu n Izayen, from Middle Atlas, who died in battle at Tawejgalt in 1921. She is entirely Amazigh speaking.
The Arab-Islamism is understood here as a racist ideology, which reflects a narrow view of the world and mankind.
In North Africa, the peoples lead struggles, the Arab-Islamism derives dividends and acts as back office of the sacrifice of the peoples !
About the Autor :
Aumer U Lamara is a Physist (PhD) ; He was student of the course of Berber teached by Mouloud Mammeri at the University of Algiers. He was formerly teaching and researcher at various universities and engineering schools. He is currently an executive in a multinational company.
He has published books in tamazight langage :
- Iberdan n Tissas (Ways of honnor), biographie militante de Mesâaud At Ammar (Oulamara), officier de l’ALN, 1934-1965, ed. Le Pas Sage, Alger 2007.
- Agellid n Times (King of fire), roman, internet 2007 ; à paraître aux éditions Achab, Tizi ouzou.
- Tullianum – Taggara n Yugurten (End of King Yugurten), roman historique, internet et Haut Commissariat à L’Amazighité (HCA), Alger 2009
- Omaha Beach – Ass-a d Wussan (D-Day and memories), roman, internet et éd. du Festival National du Film Amazigh, Alger 2010
- Muhend Abdelkrim – ‘Di dewla n Ripublik’, Etude historique sur la Guerre du Rif et la République Rifaine, internet 2011, à paraître aux éditions Achab, Tizi ouzou.
By Aumer U Lamara