Today we mark 18 years since the assassination of Matoub Lounes (June 25th, 1998). The Amazigh World News would like to take this opportunity to honor the man who loved his land, people and identity enough to sacrifice himself for it. We also would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our own commitment to the ideals we share with Matoub Lounes.
Matoub Lounes was a well known Amazigh Kabyle singer and Poet who was a prominent advocate of the Amazigh cause and secularism in Algeria throughout his life. Born in the village of Taourirt Moussa in Kabylia. His political and cultural identity was awakened by armed confrontations between Kabyles and government forces in many occasions. He is revered as a hero and martyr in Kabylie and the Amazigh World for his militant advocacy of Amazigh rights.
On 25 June 1998, Matoub’s car was stopped at a roadblock while the car was fired upon by masked gunmen, killing Matoub and wounding his wife, Nadia Matoub, and two sisters-in-law. Kabyle people still accuse the Algerian regime of killing Matoub, while the Algerian regime putting the blame on the Islamist terrorists of this crime.
His mother Aldjia fired two shots in the air and his sister Malika made a short speech which ended, “The face of Lounes will be missed but his songs will dwell forever in our hearts. Today is a day of great joy. We are celebrating the birth of Matoub Lounes.”