By Majid Morcili
By Majid Morcili
San Francisco – Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra fumed over critical remarks about Algeria’s human rights record in a United States State Department report on human rights around the world. Lamamra issued a rebuttal this week, saying the report is no more than a “mechanical reproduction of stereotypes, partial judgments, and simplistic conclusions.”
The Minister complained that the State Department had put “legitimate action of the state” on equal footing with the “murderous folly of terrorist groups.”
Algeria often praises U.S. State Department reports criticizing Morocco. The Algerian regime does not seem to mind when Morocco is the target of criticism from the U.S. or any other entity. This time, however, the Algerian regime is going back to saying that the U.S. is interfering in other nations’ business.
Today, Algeria’s southern region is burning. At least 22 people have died in clashes between Berber and Arab communities in southern Algeria. Dozens of others were injured in the latest violence.
The Mozabites of Algeria are being lynched, and their homes and shops have been ransacked. The Algerian security forces, mostly comprised of Arabs, are allowing the Arab Malekites of the region to kill Mozabites, as shown in many videos in social media sites.
Ethnic tensions between the two groups have escalated in recent years, and the Algerian regime, aided by a media that sells its soul to the highest bidder, prefers to focus on the occasional skirmishes in Morocco’s southern provinces. They do not pay much attention to the killing fields in their own southern region.
The Algerian Foreign Minister, unhappy with the State Department report, just summoned the U.S. ambassador to complain about its “unfairness.” What is Ramtane Lamamra going to say to the ambassador?
Lamamra will most likely let the Americans know that U.S. interests are at risk and that they are better off with Bouteflika’s government, and it would be better for the Americans to steer away from bringing up the human rights abuses that are taking place in Algeria. By inviting the US ambassador for a talk, the regime of course is trying to give the impression to the people of Algeria that it is asking the Americans to correct the “injustice” of the report.
Algerians with dignity understand very well the tricks of their regime. This is the same regime that presided over the killing of thousands of Algerians. A few dozen Mozabites murdered is not something the regime would worry much about. The Algerian people, unable to manifest their disgust with their rulers, embraced a “wait and see” stance in hope for better days to come. Sadly for Algerians and for the entire Maghreb the wait will be eternal, as long as the regime is still calling the shots.
Edited by Timothy Filla
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