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Ahmed Dlimi (Arabic: أحمد دليمي‎) was a Moroccan General (b. ? - d. 22 January 1983) under the rule of Hassan II. After General Mohamed Oufkir's 1972 assassination, he became Hassan II's second-hand man. He was nominated General during the Green March in 1975, and took charge of the Moroccan Armed Forces in the Southern Zone, where the military were fighting the Polisario Front. Ahmed Dlimi was also a member of the royal Military Council and in charge of the Army's security service abroad. He died in January 1983, officially in a car-crash although allegations have been made that he had been assassinated. Indeed that car crash had several unanswered questions. He was also the responsible of the death of Mehdi Ben Barka in November 1965

Contents

Until the Green March

Ahmed Dlimi headed the Moroccan security services and played an important role as a military supporter of King Hassan II during the Years of lead. A collaborator of Interior Minister Mohamed Oufkir, he had been accused by various NGOs of numerous human rights violations. He was reportedly connected to the "disappearance" of the exiled opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka, leader of the left-wing National Union of Popular Forces (UNPF) and of the non-aligned Tricontinental Conference, in 1965, in Paris, France[1][2][3] According to the first judicial investigation, Ahmed Dlimi was in Paris, along with General Oufkir, at the time of Ben Barka's kidnapping.[4]

Former dissident and prisoner Ali Bourequat has also directly accused Dlimi of having taking parts in Ben Barka's assassination.[5]

After the two failed coup d'état of 1970 and 1972, the last one attempted with the assistance of General Oufkir, Dlimi was entrusted with increasingly important tasks and promoted to the rank of General. He eventually replaced Oufkir as second-hand man to Hassan II.

Some sources claim that he personally executed his superior, General Mohamed Oufkir, on the orders of the King, after Oufkir was found responsible for the coup d'état of 1972.[6]

After 1975

After the Green March in 1975, during which Morocco annexed Western Sahara, a former administrative part of Spanish Morocco, General Dlimi became head of staff of the Moroccan Armed Forces in this territory. Western Sahara was then claimed both by Morocco and by the Polisario Front, which initiated a guerrilla against Rabat. Dlimi initiated the construction of a wall, starting in 1980, which had as aim to protect the annexed Western Sahara from the Polisario's attacks. The latter became more and more confined to its headquarters, Tindouf, in Algeria.

Ahmed Dlimi was increasingly viewed as the main military strongman. However, in January 1983, Dlimi suddenly died just after having met the King in his palace in Marrakech. Rabat officially claimed he died of a car accident. However, there are allegations that he was assassinated after attempting to organize a coup against King Hassan II,[7][8] or that he was killed for having become too powerful, and a threat to the monarchy.[9]

The French correspondent of Le Monde newspaper expressed doubts about the official account of Dlimi's death, and was subsequently expelled.[10]

This theory has been substained by dissident Ahmed Rami in March 1983, who exiled himself to Sweden after the failed coup of 1972 in which he had taken part. Rami alleged that he had clandestinely met with Dlimi in Stockholm in December 1982, and that they were preparing a coup against Hassan II, due for July 1983.[11] Dlimi was allegedly part of the "Independent Officers" who pretended to overthrow the monarchy, in order to put an end to the regime's corruption and human rights violations. They claimed to establish a "Democratic Arab Islamic Republic of Morocco" and to negotiate with the Polisario Front.

According to Ahmed Rami, several young military officers were arrested mid-January 1983. Dlimi himself was also arrested, interrogated and tortured in the royal palace, before his death being set up as a car-crash. Rami wrote that: "Hassan's closest circle, which also counts foreign secret agents, very well knows the circumstances of Dlimi's death."[11] This veiled allusion to the CIA was thoroughly developed by Rami, who claimed that the CIA was investigating on Ahmed Dlimi when he was a secret member of the "Independent Officers"; that they had filmed the Stockholm meeting between both, and had ultimately delivered this video to Hassan II.[12] Morocco was at the time a very close ally of the United States in the Arab world. Hassan II had visited US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and the State Secretary Al Haig in 1981, as well as the president of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Deputy Director of the CIA.[12]

Furthermore, Hassan II had sent troops in Zaire in 1977 and 1978 to support US intervention, and also assisted the UNITA in Angola since the mid-1970s. He had also authorized Washington DC to build a CIA station in Morocco, which was one of its key installation in Africa.[12] Finally, Dlimi advocated a closer relationship to France in order to gain more free-space from US oversight.[12]

After Dlimi's death, fifteen others officers were arrested and three of them executed. No one was allowed to see Ahmed Dlimi's corpse.

References

  1. ^ English account of revelations made in 2000 in Le Monde concerning the Ben Barka Affair (English)
  2. ^ Interview with Bachir Ben Barka (English)
  3. ^ Morocco: Officer reveals CIA's role in Murder, The Irish Times, August 8, 2001 (English)
  4. ^ Mehdi Ben Barka, quarante ans après, RFI, 29 October 2005 (French)
  5. ^ Ali Bourequat, In the Moroccan King's Secret Garden, Maurice Publishers, 1998
  6. ^ Our Man in Morocco in Consortium News, September 17, 1999 (English)
  7. ^ Exit Hasan of Morocco: west mourns the death of another loyal servant
  8. ^ Morocco: Breaking the Wall of Silence 1993 report from Amnesty International (AI Index: MDE 29/01/93)
  9. ^ The Morocco of Muhammad VI, The Estimate, July 30, 1999
  10. ^ In Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, revised edition (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-252-6, William Blum quotes The Nation, 26 March 1983
  11. ^ a b Ahmed Rami, Le destin du général Dlimi (French)
  12. ^ a b c d William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, revised edition (Common Courage Press) ISBN 1-56751-252-6

See also

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