Mohamed Oufkir bigraphy, stories - General Interior minister

Mohamed Oufkir : biography

1920 - 1972

General Mohammad Oufkir (1920, Aïn Chaïr near Bouarfa - 16 August 1972, Rabat) () was a Moroccan politician.

Honours

  • Officier de la Légion d'honneur
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (1949)
  • Croix de guerre 1939-1945
  • Croix de guerre des Théatres d'Opérations Exterieures
  • Silver Star"Clark awarded Oufkir the Silver Star. He also fought with French forces in Vietnam, where his bravery was dubbed legendary.", Louise Roberts Sheldon, Casablanca Notebook: A Collection of Tales from Morroco, Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2002, "General Mohamed Oufkir, who had been awarded a United States Army Silver Star while fighting with the Allies during World War II.", Steve Ewing, Thach weave: the life of Jimmie Thach, Naval Institute Press, 2004, "Mohammed Oufkir, son of the man the French had attracted in the Tafilalt on the eve of the Protectorate, was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the American Silver Star.", C. R. Pennell, Morocco since 1830: a history,

He was awarded a total of 7 citations, including 3 palmes (citations in Army Orders).Stephen Smith, Oufkir, un destin marocain, Hachette Littératures, 2002

Sources

  • Stephen Smith, Oufkir, un destin marocain, Hachette Littératures, 2002
  • Malika Oufkir and Michèle Fitoussi (2001), Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, Miramax Books (ISBN 0-7868-6861-9 )

Notes

Biography

Muhammad Oufkir was from Berber stock, from central Morocco. During World War II, he served with distinction in the French army (4th Regiment of Moroccan Tirailleurs) in Italy in 1944 where he won the Croix de Guerre. He was also awarded the Silver Star in 1944 by Major General Alfred M. Gruenther, general Clark's chief of staff, after the Battle of Monte Cassino. After the war, he fought with French forces in Vietnam from 1947 to 1949, where his bravery was dubbed "legendary". In 1949 he was promoted Captain and named to the Legion d'Honneur.Stephen Smith, Oufkir, un destin marocain, Hachette Littératures, 2002Louise Roberts Sheldon, Casablanca Notebook: A Collection of Tales from Morroco, Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2002, Steve Ewing, Thach weave: the life of Jimmie Thach, Naval Institute Press, 2004, C. R. Pennell, Morocco since 1830: a history,

As the right hand man of king Hassan II in the 1960s and early 1970s, Oufkir led government supervision of politicians, unionists and the religious establishment. He forcefully repressed political protest through police and military clampdowns, pervasive government espionage, show trials, and numerous extralegal measures such as killings and forced disappearances. A feared figure in dissident circles, he was considered extraordinarily close to power. One of his most famous victims is believed to have been celebrated third-world politician Mehdi Ben Barka, who had "disappeared" in Paris in 1965. A French court convicted him of the murder.

In 1967, Oufkir was named interior minister, vastly increasing his power through direct control over most of the security establishment. After a failed republican military coup in 1971 he was named chief of staff and minister of defense, and set about purging the army and promoting his personal supporters. His domination of the Moroccan political scene was now near-complete, with the king ever more reliant on him to contain mounting discontent.

General Oufkir was accused of plotting the 1972 Republican coup attempt against King Hassan II. Though official sources claimed that the General had committed suicide in response to the failure of the coup, his daughter, Malika Oufkir, writing in her book "Stolen Lives", claims to have seen five bullet wounds in her father's body, all in positions not consistent with suicide. It is generally accepted outside of official circles that Oufkir was executed by forces loyal to the Moroccan monarchy.

On orders of the king, Oufkir's entire family was then sent to secret desert prison camps. They were not released until 1991, after US and European pressures on the regime. After five years under close police supervision, they fled to France. This story is detailed by Oufkir's daughter Malika in the book Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail. His wife Fatima and his son Raouf also published their accounts of the period.

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