4. Spanish Morocco/Berbers (1909-1927)


Conflict Phase (July 7, 1909-March 23, 1910): Berber tribesmen in the Rif mountains rebelled against the Spanish Moroccan government beginning on July 7, 1909. Government troops suppressed the rebellion on March 23, 1910. Some 8,000 Berbers and 2,000 Spanish government troops were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (March 24, 1910-December 31, 1918): France recognized the Spanish protectorate over northern Morocco on November 14, 1912.

Conflict Phase (January 1, 1919-July 10, 1927): Berber tribesmen led by Mohamed Abd el-Krim led a rebellion against the Spanish Moroccan government beginning in January 1919. Spanish troops occupied Sheshuan (Xauen) on October 14, 1920. General Fernandes Silvestre’s troops occupied Annoual in the Rif mountains on January 15, 1921. Berber rebels attacked the Abarran military post on June 1, 1921, resulting in the deaths of some 179 government soldiers. Berber rebels attacked the Igueriben and Buy Meyan military posts beginning on July 16, 1921. Government troops and Berber rebels clashed near Annoual on July 21-22, 1921, resulting in the deaths of General Silvestre and some 8,000 government soldiers. Government troops recaptured Nador, Zeluan, and Monte Arruit between September 12 and October 24, 1921. Mohamed Abd el-Krim established the Rif Republic in 1922. Some 18,000 government troops were killed at the Sheshuan (Xauen) garrison and during a campaign by a Spanish relief force of 40,000 soldiers to evacuate the garrison. Mohamed Abd el-Krim released 290 government soldiers and 40 civilians for ransom on January 27, 1923. Berber rebels attacked the post of Tizzi Azza on June 5, 1923. Government and Berber representatives held negotiations in Alhucemas bay between July 2 and July 13, 1923. Spain offered the Berber rebels independence under a Spanish protectorate on July 15, 1923, but Mohamed Abd el-Krim rejected the offer on July 24, 1923. Government troops completed their withdrawal to the Moroccan coast on December 12, 1924. Berber rebels captured Tazarut on January 27, 1925. Berber rebels attacked French military positions in southern Morocco beginning on April 12-13, 1925. The French and Spanish governments agreed to cooperate against the Berber rebels on July 25, 1925. France and Spain rejected independence for the Rif Republic on August 14-15, 1925. French troops and Spanish troops waged a military offensive against Berber rebels between September 9 and October 13, 1925. Mohamed Abd el-Krim surrendered to French troops on May 23, 1926. Mohamed Abd el-Krim and his family were exiled on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean on September 2, 1926. Spanish troops suppressed the Berber rebellion on July 10, 1927. Some 10,000 French soldiers, 50,000 Spanish government soldiers, and 25,000 Berber rebels were killed during the conflict.

[Sources: Clodfelter, 1992, 637, 639-640; Fleming 1991; Langer, 1972, 991-995, 1079-1081; Survey of International Affairs (SIA), 1925 (supplement), 192-193; Woolman 1968.]