Knowledge of Amazigh required for granting Moroccan citizenship

The Committee on Justice, Legislation and Human Rights in the House of Representatives this week approved the addition of sufficient knowledge of the Amazigh language as a condition for granting Moroccan nationality to foreigners , in addition to the Arabic language.

The new requirement comes in the wake of a bill presented by the parliamentary group of Istiqlal to the House of Representatives, and relates to the integration with the provisions of article 11 of Dahir 1.58.250 relating to the obtaining Moroccan nationality, a new condition, namely a good knowledge of the Amazigh language.

The aforementioned chapter stipulates that the acquisition of Moroccan nationality by a foreigner requires the satisfaction of 6 conditions, the first of which is habitual and regular residence in Morocco during the last five years, proof of legal age, good health physical and mental, good conduct, commendable behavior and non-conviction of the applicant to a sentence, sufficient knowledge of the Arabic language as well as the availability of sufficient means of subsistence.

According to the amendment approved by the Committee on Justice, Legislation and Human Rights in the House of Representatives after its approval by the government, the fifth condition states “ sufficient knowledge of Arabic and Amazigh or one of the two languages“.

The Istiqlal Party, at the origin of this proposal, considered that ” the proposal is part of the proper application of the provisions of the Basic Law which have made Amazigh an official language of the State and as a common good for all Moroccans without exception“.

The proposal refers to the need to activate the official character of the Amazigh and to ensure that the laws in force respect the provisions of the Constitution, in particular with regard to freedoms and fundamental rights, as universally recognized“, further argued the formation of Nizar Baraka.

Chapter five of the Moroccan Constitution states that Tamazight (Amazigh) is an official language of the Moroccan state alongside the Arabic language. Moreover, an organic law was promulgated to activate its official character in all aspects of public life in 2019, but the implementation of this text on the ground is still stumbling, according to associations working in the field of defense of the Amazigh.

As a reminder, during the official ceremony to launch the procedures of the integrated scheme for activating the official character of Amazigh in public institutions, the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, stressed that the official recognition of the Amazigh language is the fruit of the royal will which has enabled great progress to be made over the past twenty years. This historic turning point began with the Ajdir speech delivered by the King in 2001.

He thus recalled that in 2019, the regulatory law was adopted, thus defining the stages of activation of the official character of Amazigh and the mechanisms of its integration in education and in various aspects of life, after 8 years of conservative stagnation.

This law strongly and firmly confirms the status of the Amazigh language and its contribution to the multi-tributary Moroccan identity, he said.

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