Friday, 16 August 2013

Commemoration of Morocco's retaking of Rio de Oro in 1979

On 14 August, Morocco commemorated the 24th anniversary of the full re-establishment of its territorial integrity. It was on 14 August 1979 that Mauritania withdrew its claim to sovereignty over Rio de Oro (Oued Eddahab in Arabic), the southernmost region of the former colony of the Spanish Sahara. The Moroccan State media stressed the importance of the event on national news, showing historic footage of the blue-robed Sahrawi tribal chiefs assembled in the Mechouar (Palace compound) in Rabat, paying their oath of allegiance to Hassan II.
The development of the Saharan provinces and handling pressures from the Polisario movement is a difficult dossier which the Palace continues to follow closely. In his speech from the throne in 2009, Mohamed VI underlined that no compromises with would-be liberation movements were possible: the former Spanish colony would remain firmly Moroccan; to quote, “With full responsibility, We affirm that there is no place for ambiguity and duplicity: a citizen is either Moroccan or he is not ... One is either a patriot or a traitor. There is no middle ground between patriotism and betrayal.”

For more news and expert analysis about Morocco, please see Morocco Politics & Security.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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