ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Berber activists in Algeria say authorities prevented them from carrying out a march to mark their new year.
An estimated third of Algeria is ethnically Berber or Amazigh, the original inhabitants of North Africa with their own language and history.
Activists from the Movement for the Autonomy of the Kabylie had planned to mark the Berber New Year with a march in Tizi Ouzou, the capital of Algeria’s predominantly Berber Kabylie region.
Like most North African countries, Algeria describes itself as Arab and has long suppressed Berber identity movements.
A demonstration a few days ago by the banned movement during French President Francois Hollande’s visit was also prevented.
The movement believes the Berber culture and language is sidelined in Algeria, where the official language is Arabic.