Moroccan Army of Liberation attacks Spanish enclave of Ifni

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Morocco flag

Saturday, 23 November 1957

Morocco had been ruled by the Alaouite Dynasty since 1631. In 1859, a war was waged against Spain in an attempt to remain independent. Following this war, the French extended great influence and by 1912, part of Morocco became a French protectorate. The northern part of Morocco, the Rif area, was ceded to Spain. Early twentieth century opposition to French and Spanish rule came in the form of the nationalist group - the Moroccan Action Committee (CAM). Moderate reforms were proposed by the CAM, such as the inclusion of Moroccans in government positions, but were suppressed by the French.

Although different parts of Morocco were administered by the French and the Spanish, Sultan Mohammed V was revered as a leader by the locals. His exile to Madagascar in 1953 caused great anger, as Mohammed V was also recognized as a religious leader. Violence broke out as calls were made for the return of the Sultan.

In 1955, with Mohammed V's return to Morocco, independence was negotiated with the French and was granted in 1956. Negotiation for the independence of Spanish regions also took place in 1956, however the province of Tarfya was not returned to Morocco. The Moroccan Liberation Army began to infiltrate Ifni and Spanish Sahara. On 23 November 1957, they attacked the Spanish enclave at Ifni. In 1958, they sparked a large-scale rebellion in Spanish Sahara, which was supported by Mohammed V. The rebellion was crushed by Spain, and the province of Tarfya was returned to Morocco.

References:
• Spanish Morocco [online] Available at: answers.com [Accessed 18 October 2013]
• 
Ifni is attacked,[online] Available at: africanhistory.about.com [Accessed 18 October 2013]
• 
colonialwarfareIfni, [online] Available at: www.colonialwarfare18901975.devhub.com ,[Accessed 18 Octber 2013]

Last updated : 18-Oct-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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