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Morocco’s House of Councillors to Include Amazigh Language in Plenary Sessions

An MP expressed frustration in a statement to MWN, condemning other Moroccan public institutions’ reluctance to include Amazigh language into their work.

Morocco’s House of Councillors and the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) signed a cooperation agreement on Tuesday, pledging to accelerate the process of integrating the Amazigh (Berber) language into the work of the upper house of the Moroccan parliament.

Abdelhakim Benchemach, the speaker of the house of councillors, signed the agreement with the rector of IRCAM Ahmed Boukous.

The document seeks to establish a partnership between the two parties to implement the action plan the upper house approved recently.

The plan includes methods and phases of integrating the Amazigh language in the plenary sessions of the House of Advisors and its bodies.

The partnership also entails ensuring the implementation of the official aspect of the Amazigh language and the facilitation of its use by the Moroccan parliament.

IRCAM and the House of Councillors vowed to work together to set up joint action plans for training and seminars in Amazigh language and culture at the House of Councillors. 

The two parties also promised to strengthen their cooperation through the exchange of experiences and documents.

IRCAM will offer the necessary assistance to facilitate the integration of Amazigh during the plenary sessions of both the House of Advisors and its various bodies.

The house, for its part, will provide assistance to IRCAM researchers in the development of research and studies related to the areas of parliamentary action.

Also included in the agreement is the creation of a joint commission in charge of monitoring the implementation of the terms of the agreement approved by representatives of the two parties. 

Institutions did not respect deadline

Abdelwahed Deriouch, councilor of Abdelhakim Benchamach and an MP told Morocco World News that the agreement is in line with Article 32 of Morocco’s organic Law 26.16.

The law determines the phases of the process to implement the official character of Amazigh language.

The law, which was published in late September 2019, stipulates that all ministerial departments should prepare action plans to integrate the Amazigh language into their working environment.

It set a six-month deadline for the concerned institutions to prepare their respective actions plans.

“No other Moroccan institution other than the House of Councillors has introduced its action plan, which made the upper house the first departement to make actions in line with the organic law,” Deriouch told MWN.

The MP called on all other institutions to implement the law and prepare action plans.

“Those who vote in elections include Amazigh people. Therefore it is unfair to include only Arabic in plenary sessions, especially as  it is difficult for some Amazigh people to understand Arabic,” he said.

Deriouch said that the decision to include the Amazigh language will allow parliamentarians to ask questions in the language, which will be also translated in Arabic to ensure equality and fairness.

The MP expressed hope to see the language included in the working environment of all other public institutions.

Asked whether he believes Morocco will make “Id Yennayer” (the Amazigh New Year) an official holiday, Deriouch said activism in favor of the move is ongoing.

The MP believes that such a decision is a sovereign action that King Mohammed VI should approve himself.

“It is not happening yet, but I am confident this will happen sooner or later,” he concluded.

Source: Morocco World News.

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