The Kabylian Force

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Kamel Irchen , the unknown hero

Kamel Irchen

The 27th of April 2001 was one of the deadliest days in the history of the Kabyle black spring, with the death of the man who would forever leave his mark on people’s minds by his refusal of injustice and his courage, by engraving the word “freedom” with his blood on a wall, namely Kamel Irchen.
During the last days of April, bullets rang out all over Kabylia and the toll was very heavy: 128 young people were killed in the prime of their lives and more than 5,000 were disabled for life.
Kamel Irchen was assassinated on 27 April 2001 with several other young people. He will leave a lasting impression on us and through him on all those who were murdered for an ideal of freedom. Kamel Irchen will be the one who will guide, in spite of himself, Kabylia which, until then, had led all struggles except that of its own liberation. This word that he wrote in blood will also enlighten the Kabyles who have done everything to achieve living together in Algeria, but in vain, not for lack of trying.
Kamel Irchen’s gesture also instils in us a Kabyle national consciousness and the refusal of the colonial fact because only a Colin does that to a people. It also shows us that during these last moments of life, resilience is the only weapon of the Kabyles, that of not giving in to fatalism despite the horror.
For the only time that Kabylia questioned its struggles and defeats, the result was the death of 128 young, unarmed Kabyles, whose only weapon was their thirst for freedom.
We have learned, thanks to the sacrifice of all these brave young Kabyles, to rebuild a struggle, once strewn with defeats and the massacre of the best of our children, to finally fight for the only ideal that is worthwhile, that of a free and independent Kabylia, and of its children who will be marked for life in their bodies and souls.
Today, more than twenty years later, the militants of the Movement for the Self-Determination of Kabylia continue to honour the struggle of Kamel Irchen, with a raised hand, symbolising today the resistance and resilience of the Kabyle people. Their persevering struggle is now affirmed as a refusal to sacrifice other Kamel Irchen with the word: “Freedom as its base and matrix.
Hestia Saithamus.

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