July 22 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Amazigh World Assembly (AMA) has sent a letter to the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and to the highest officials of the EU to demand reparation for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population during the Rif War (1911-1927).
The message, picked up by the Moroccan portal Yabiladi, denounces the “crimes against humanity during the Rif War” for the “massive use of chemical weapons, against the civilian population during the Rif War between 1921 and 1927” that are “still pending”.
“Spain, France and, by extension, the EU, cannot continue to remain indifferent and insensitive to this historic and tragic injustice of the use of chemical weapons”, which “also have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects, such as mustard gas, phosgene, diphosgene and chloropicrin”, he highlights.
The Berber association assures that “the populations continue to suffer, even today, because the Great Rif region has very worrying rates of cancer victims.”
The AMA recalls that they forwarded their request to King Felipe and that the Royal Household responded to them on May 29, 2015, indicating that they had directed the request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as it was the competent body.
However, none of the subsequent foreign ministers –José Manuel García-Margallo, Alfonso Dastis, Josep Borell, Arancha González Laya and José Manuel Albares– “took the trouble” to respond, so the AMA regrets that these “legitimate statements (…) are not taken seriously.”
The letter thus demands reparation mainly from Spain, but also from France, and includes among its recipients the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen; the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell.
The message has been sent on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the Battle of Annual, the main milestone that marked the Rif War and is commemorated in Morocco every July 21.
The same request was addressed to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of Annual, in 2021. Macron entrusted the response to General Jean Le Roch, of the military cabinet of the Presidency, who argued that “it is a delicate issue” that falls under the responsibility of the minister delegate of the Ministry of the Armed Forces in charge of Memory and Veterans.
“However, since then and until today” none of those responsible for that instance “have taken our insistent demands seriously,” according to the AMA.
Now the WADA urges the EU to examine this issue and recalls that Macron described colonization as a “crime against humanity” during his trip to Algeria in 2017 and cites other examples in Germany, the Netherlands or Belgium.