Status Quo Side: Spain
Non-Status Quo Side: Morocco
Conflict Type: Colonial
Issues in Dispute: Independence
One Moroccan goal at independence was to absorb the contiguous Spanish-held territories: 1) the 2 protectorate zones (of which the northern was promptly ceded on April 7 1956) 2) the Mediterranean principalities of Ceuta and Mellila, 3) Ifni, an enclave on the west coast and 4) the adjacent Spanish Sahara.
Clashes between Moroccan nationalists and Spanish troops occurred in Ifni. Morocco asked Spain to negotiate a transfer of sovereignty. On October 16 Spain agreed to cede the southern protectorate zone (accomplished April 10 1958) but not Ifni. Spain claimed to have cleared Spanish Sahara of guerrillas, although clashes were reported in 1960 and 1961. UN pressure on Spain to decolonize Ifni and Spanish Sahara began in 1962. In 1963 Spain virtually relinquished the Ifni hinterland reportedly for assurances on strategic Ceuta and Mellila. Formal cession of Ifni occurred on June 30 1969. Violent flare-ups in June 1970 in Spanish Sahara prompted joint Moroccan, Algerian and Mauritanian plans -- all claimants in the territory -- to wrest it from Spanish control. [see WES]
Spain turned administration of the Sahara over to Morocco and Mauretania [see WES].
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton