It has been two weeks since the snow has isolated Kabylia from the world without the slightest reaction from the central government.
Entirely dependent on gas, electricity and commercial goods, the Kabyl people found themselves quickly out of everything including food (milk, semolina, etc..). The good thing was that the communication network (Internet and mobile phones in particular) worked intermittently, allowing a minimum of communication.
In the total absence of the State and its institutions, Kabyl citizens ventured out when they could, looking for gas tanks or fuel oil for heating. The snow reached two meters (over 6 feet) in some places. It is the case for instance in Iferḥunen, At Ziki, At Illilten, Ibudraren, Michelet, and villages such as Tirurda! In Tizi Umalu (At Bu Yusef), a youth was burried under an avalanche.
The incessant distress calls from the villagers have not been heard, despite the fact many families have seen their food supply exhausted and shops their shelves quickly emptied. In cities like Iazzugen, Tizi Wezzu or Mirabeau, the prices of basic necessities have tripled or even quadrupled to become unaffordable to certain pocketbooks. The problem was compounded by the lack of drinking water: the low temperatures caused many pipes to freeze. Citizens are thus forced to fetch drinking water from old fountains after a long trek in the snow. For the needs of the household, women melt snow.
On the sixth day of this bad weather, the regions of Michelet, Iferḥunen, Buzeggan, Larbaa Nat-Yiraten or Iakkuren and their surroundings are completely cut off. According to some accounts, the situation has only become worse. This has created an unprecedented and general panic.
Faced with the fury of nature and the indifference of the Algerian state, the villagers mobilized and ancestral solidarity was reestablished to get the cities and villages out of isolation and allow the flow of gas supplies, oil and food. Crisis centers were set up with the core of village committees and associations to assist particularly those most vulnerable.
The people are thus left to fend for themselves while the military and gendarmerie (military police) sat back in their barracks nearby (1). After this, no one can say that the military and the police are there for the benefit and safety of the citizens. In reality they are only there to watch them, terrorize them and repress them as needed. Moreover, aren't these barracks and police stations rallying points for AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) terrorists who roam freely in Kabylia!
The summum of absurdity is that as Kabylia is trying to come out from under this massive snow storm, the Algerian authorities enjoyed sending the Kabyls mobile phone owners text messages inviting them to sign up to vote in the upcoming legislative elections (2).
This new situation will allow the Kabyls to radically revise their relationship with the Algerian state. Is there still a reason that would justify this "forced marriage" between Kabylia and the Algerian state? On the contrary, it is a strong case for divorce, and for the benefit of everyone it had better be done peacefully.
It is time to draw conclusions on one half of one century of cohabitation where Kabylia has had to endure the worst humiliations and the worst repression from a rogue state with an ideology that is devastating cultures and freedoms.
It is therefore time that Kabylia revives its tradition of struggle to regain its dignity and finally get rid of these anti-Amazigh medieval and barbaric enemies.
Long Live a Free Kabylia!
translated from French by the editors of tamazgha.org
The following notes are from the translator
(1) Kabylia is the most heavily policed region of Algeria. It contains the largest contingents of specil riot police, gendarmerie (military police), military stations and special forces.
(2) The ALgerian government is perfectly aware that the vast majority of Kabyls will boycott the upcoming elections for the simple reason that they are going to be yet another mascarade.