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Head of Berber congress slams Algeria’s treatment

March 24, 2014

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The president of an organization that represents North Africa’s indigenous people says the Algerian government’s treatment of the Berbers is the worst in the region.

Fethi N’Khlifa, leader of the World Amazigh Congress, told The Associated Press on Monday that Berbers were in a “dangerous” relationship of conflict with the Algerian government. Asked if Algerian treatment of Berbers was the worst in North Africa, he said “yes.”

Berbers, or Amazigh, have their own language and culture and are found all over North Africa.

There are been regular riots between the Berber and Arab populations in the Algerian desert town of Ghardaia, with eight deaths over the past months.

The Algerian prime minister prompted demonstrations last week by making a derogatory comment about a mountain Berber community.

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