Haddou Aqchich

A glimpse into the life of colonel Haddou Aqchich, one of the most important kidnapped Riffian leaders.

Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd El-Karim El-Khattabi Committee on Collaboration between Riffian Association has issued in December 2003, during the revival of the 44th anniversary of the Riffian revolution, a paper introducing Haddou Aqqchich , the kidnapped militant. Due to the importance of the mentioned paper, We, in the Association of The Memory of The Rif, have based the following brief introduction.

Haddou Ben Abdesslam Aqqchich, is also refered to as Ahmed Abdeslam Arrifi in several historical references. He was born in 1918 in the village of Tamasint, the stronghold of Imrabden, in the tribe of Ait Waryaghel, the province of Al Hoceima. After he learnt the Islamic teachings and took the Quran by heart In many Riffian mosques, he left his birth place to pursue his studies in an institute in Tetouan where he dedicated his time to studying and engaged himself in the student’s union and protest movement of the institute, which aims to defend the right to scholarship and nutrition.

His militancy activities and his political concerns will lead him to be expelled from the institute. Afterwards he moved to Fes to continue his studies in one of its institutions where he will be expelled for the same mentioned reasons. Then he decided to go back to Tetouan to be engaged in political activities against Spanish colonization of the Rif. In 1945 Spanish troops arrested him then expatriated him to his native village and imposed house arrest on him. Thanks to the help of one of his friends he managed to flee his village without even informing his family members. Afterwards he declared his presence in Cairo, Egypt.

The first thing he did when he came to Egypt was looking for the dwelling of Al-amir ( prince) Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd El-Karim El-Khattabi, who convinced him to pursue his studies in Al-Azhar University, Alkhatabi discovered the braveness and the courageous positions of Hadou Aqqchich, that was the reason why he was suggested in the first military mission which was sent in the 01st October, 1948 so as to be trained in the military faculty in the capital city of Iraq, Baghdad. The military training aimed to form the nucleus cells of the Army of Liberation whose purpose was achieving full-fledged independence of North African countries.

He graduated in 30 June 1951, with the second lieutenant grade. After that he joined the groups appointed by El-khattabbi to execute revolutionary missions in Algeria and Libya. He participated in the supplication of munitions to Algerian warriors and the formation of more than 30 000 Algerian and Libyan warriors. It is also said that he was the instigator of resistance in the Auras mountains in Algeria.

The late 1956, will witness his return to Tetouan, where he executed a number of missions assigned to him by Abdelkrim El-khattabi. But he will be arrested soon by occupation forces which transferred him to Ceuta and incarcerated him for 3 months under the charge of a coup d état.

After being set free he returned to his birth place and went around villages and popular markets of the region of Alhoceima and the neighbouring villages and people agglomerations; he was explaining to people the different conspiracies against the country and made them aware of the position of the leader El-khattabi on the cursed Aix-Les-Bains agreement which gave morocco quasi independence instead of a true independence for which faithful Moroccans had struggled to realize.

He called them to continue supporting armed resistance until the total withdrawal of occupation forces is imposed. And the mean attitudes of partisans and colonisation are unmasked. he always repeats that “the future of the Rif is linked to the life of its leader Abdelkarim El-khattabi”.

So as to achieve their malicious goals , governors and partisans fought every one involved with Abdelkerim, their methods were; extermination, kidnapping, torturing, and incarceration in jails and secret prisons which they set up in many places for the aforementioned purposes. In the late of April( some say Mai ) of 1956 , the family house of Haddou Aqqchich was subject to an assailment by an armed commando composed of dozens of fighters. The family members tried at first to confront the commando but they were out numbered their house will be besieged. Then Haddo Aqqcich was arrested. When they were taking him to their car he told his mother; “ we fell between the hands of the despicable. But if I am destined to live I will live with dignity or die honourably.

Haddo Aqqchich have not appeared since his kidnapping by the commando. It is said that he was assassinated by the militias al Istiqqlal party which spread death, terror and fear among the inhabitants of the Rif. He is also said to had been tortured savagely by Allal Al-Fasi, Torris, and Mehdi Ben Barka. In his book “ Brisha’s House or The Story of a Kidnapped”, Mehdi Momni Tajkani mentioned that Haddo Aqqchich was murdered in Jnan abricha near Tetouan , the place which was used by al Istiqqlal party to torture faithful militants. It was said that he was buried in a deserted anonymous place.

Whatever the destiny of Haddo Aqqchich , the ultimate truth is that he was kidnapped by those who conspired against the nation and whose interests were endangered by the perseverance of the resistance to achieve total independence, and those who favoured government positions over the lives of the loyal sons of the country.

It is worth mentioning that the Equity and justice committee ignored, in its general report, any reference to the kidnapping of Haddo Aqqchich. Nor did it investigate his destiny. His name was not even included in the list of the kidnapped whose fate is still unknown. They contented with calling his brother Mhamed Lamrabet (Aqqchich) to one of the committee’s sessions to talk for a few minutes about His brother Haddou and the suffering of the family and his father who was detained during the Rif revolution and sentenced to death. Although he obtained a pardon decision he remained in jail for 4 more years. He was suffering from different illnesses by the time he was set free.