Morocco / Algeria – December 1975 – December 2022 – Moroccans Expelled from Algeria: Lest We Forget the Tragedy (CIEMA Statement)

The Day of 18 December marks the 47th anniversary of the arbitrary expulsion of thousands of Moroccan citizens, who were legally residing in Algeria, pursuant to a decision taken by the Algerian government on December 8, 1975, during the reign of Houari Boumediene.

While the Islamic world was preparing to celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid Al-Adha) on the morning of December 18, 1975, the Algerian authorities expelled about 45,000 Moroccans, including women, children, and the elderly. Having that in mind, the long-standing legal resident status of these families did not save them from Algerian regime’ forced displacement and expulsion, as these people had legally settled in Algeria since the 19th century and a large part of them participated in the Algerian War of Independence,which broke out in November 1954, where hundreds of Moroccans martyred in the Place of Honor.

With this painful anniversary, the International Collective in Support of Families of Moroccan Families from Algeria (CIEMA) can only denounce once again the decision of the Algerian regime to expel thousands of Moroccan citizens, who were legally residing in Algeria, at a time when these victims and their families affected by the decision are still wondering about the facts that resulted in this human tragedy, and whose wounds have not been healed for 47 years thereafter.

+ Algeria’s clear responsibilities in the tragedy +

On the occasion of the Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on 10 December, the CIEMA renews its call on all national and international organizations and living forces, driven by the principles and values of peace and justice, to put pressure on the Algerian regime to confess the violations suffered by these citizens, and to remind them of their clear responsibilities in the tragedy they are living and to compensate them for the damage they have suffered.

On the national level, the CIEMA calls once again for the promptestablishment of a parliamentary fact-finding committee on this issue, namely after gaining the support of all Parliamentary Groups in this respect. In fact, the Parliamentary Groups hailed this civil initiative and expressed their support for it. Besides, the Opposition Groups in the House of Representatives have embarked on taking measures to implement their pledges in this area, with the hope that the Majority Groups play their part and contribute to establishment of this parliamentary fact-finding committee.
On the other hand, the CIEMA and the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights submitted a memorandum for the establishment of a parliamentary fact-finding committee on the tragedy of Moroccans who were arbitrarily expelled from Algeria without prior notice.

This initiative, which is one of the fruits of the partnership and cooperation agreement signed between the CIEMA and the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, aims at engaging the legislative institution in documenting this tragedy and safeguardingthe right of victims to moral and material reparation. As everyone is aware, the Algerian regime continues to cover up the scope of this tragedy and deny the legitimate rights of these Moroccan victimsover decades, bearing in mind that some of them belong to mixed Algerian-Moroccan families, including those who took part in the Algerian revolution against French colonialism.

The establishment of a parliamentary fact-finding committee on the tragedy of Moroccans expelled from Algeria are of great importance, especially in terms of documentation by a constitutional institution. The input of this institution will be of decisive value in rehabilitating the dignity of thousands of Moroccans, in exposingthe responsibility of Algerian regime, in addition to highlighting the tragedy and collecting data held by various public administrations in particular and people in general.

Moreover, the establishment of a parliamentary committee on this issue will contribute to preserving the memory of the victims and their relatives, while seeing how to rehabilitate them, help them to access all possible means of redress, and elaborate a reference document that will be the first of its kind issued by a constitutional institution possessing all the merits to support the efforts of victims in defending their rights at the international level.

As an independent CSO, the International Collective in Support of Families of Moroccan Families from Algeria (CIEMA), founded on February 21, 2021, which gathers victims and their relatives, human rights defenders and activists inside Morocco and outside it, along with the support of Moroccan human rights organizations, shall continue the mobilization process with a view to achieving the objectives contained in its laws and the framework of its action plan, especially the continuation of international sensitization and advocacy activities on this issue.

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