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Africa

Kabyle separatists set up their own government in France

media Landscape of Kabylie, Algeria Wikimedia Commons

Separatists from Kabylia, a province in the north of Algeria, have set up a temporary government in France.The group has been fighting for the recognition of its language and its culture since Algeria's independence in 1962.

The Movement for Kabylia Automony, MAK, set up the temporary govenrment with Ferhat Mehenni at the head. He has appointed nine ministers - two of them women. He founded MAK in 2001.

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Areẓqi At Ḥemmuc, Paris 04/06/2010 - by Billie O'Kadameri Listen

"It is a major achievement," said Areẓqi At Ḥemmuc, the International Relations spokesman for the provisional government of Kabylia. "We have now a government speaking in the name of the people and trying to do some work on the ground and representing the Kabylie people all over the world."

Mehenni, 59, says he formed this government to represent Kabyle people, adding that the people of Kabylie are treated like foreigners in their own lands by the Algerian authorities.

Mehenni has been arrested a number of times in Algeria and there is currently a warrant out for his arrest.

Kabylia is a poor mountainous region east of the Algerian capital Algiers.

The Kabyle people represent about 25 per cent of the Algerian population and speak a Beber language, Tamazight.

They have been fighting for recognition of this language and their specific culture since independence from France.

 
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