Cape Juby

Cape Juby (Arabic: رأس جوبي‎, trans. Raʾs Juby, Spanish: Cabo Juby) is a cape on the coast of southern Morocco, near the border with Western Sahara, directly east of the Canary Islands.

Its surrounding area, called the Cape Juby Strip or Tarfaya Strip, while making up presently the far south of Morocco, makes up a semi-desert buffer zone between Morocco proper and the Western Sahara. The Strip was under Spanish rule as part of the Spanish protectorate in Morocco during the first half of the 20th century.

Morocco Protectorate
Regions of Morocco in colonial times

Modern history

Precolonial era

On May 28, 1767, Mohammed ben Abdallah, the Sultan of Morocco, signed a peace and commerce treaty with King Charles III of Spain. In the treaty, Morocco was unable to guarantee the security of Spanish fishermen along the coasts south of the Noun River, as Morocco did not have control over the Tekna tribes of that area (Art. 18). [1] [2]

On March 1, 1799, Sultan Slime signed an accord with King Charles IV of Spain, in which he recognized that the Saguia el Hamra and Cape Juby regions were not part of his dominions (Art. 22).[1][2]

In 1879, the British North West Africa Company established a trading post near Cape Juby called "Port Victoria". On March 26, 1888, Moroccan soldiers attacked the post, killing the director of the post and leaving two workers badly injured.[3] In 1895, the company sold its post to the Sultan of Morocco.

Spanish protectorate

In 1912, Spain negotiated with France (which controlled the affairs of Morocco at the time) for concessions on the southern coast of Morocco. Francisco Bens officially occupied the Cape Juby region for Spain on July 29, 1916. It was administered by Spain as a single entity with Spanish Sahara and the Ifni enclave, as Spanish West Africa.

The Spanish area comprised 12,700 sq mi (33,000 km2) and had a population of 9,836. Its main town was founded by the Spanish as Villa Bens (now called Tarfaya). Villa Bens was used as a staging post for airmail flights.

Retrocession to Morocco

When Morocco became independent in 1956, it requested the cession of Moroccan areas controlled by Spain. After some resistance and some fighting during 1957 (the Ifni War), the Spanish government in 1958 ceded the Cape Juby Strip to Morocco.

Sahara sea

In 1877, the Scottish engineer Donald Mackenzie was the first to propose the creation of a Sahara Sea. Mackenzie's idea was to cut a channel from one of the sand-barred lagoons north of Cape Juby south to a large plain which Arab traders had identified to him as El Djouf.[4][5] Mackenzie believed this vast region was up to 61 metres (200 ft) below sea level and that flooding it would create an inland sea of 155,400 square kilometres (60,000 sq mi) suited to commercial navigation and even agriculture. He further believed that geological evidence suggested this basin had once been connected to the Atlantic via a channel near the Saguia el-Hamra. He proposed that this inland sea, if augmented with a canal, could provide access to the Niger River and the markets and rich resources of West Africa.[5] There are several small depressions in the vicinity of Cape Juby; at 55 m below sea level, the Sebkha Tah[6] is the lowest and largest. But it covers less than 250 km² and is 500 km north of the geographical area identified as El Djouf (also known as the Majabat al-Koubra[7]) which has an average elevation of 320 m. Mackenzie never travelled in this area but had read of other sub-sea level desert basins in present-day Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt similar to those found near Cape Juby.[5] These basins contain seasonally dry salt lakes, known as chotts or sebkhas. Egypt's Qattara Depression is perhaps the largest such basin in North Africa.

See also


  1. ^ a b Pedro Giménez de Aragón Sierra. "Proyecto Ibn Jaldun. VII. El colonialismo español en el s. XIX: África. 2. Chafarinas, Sidi Ifni y el Sáhara" (in Spanish). Junta de Andalucía. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  2. ^ a b Cesáreo Fernández Duro (08-09-1877). "Cautivos españoles en Cabo Blanco" (PDF) (in Spanish). La Ilustración Española y Americana nº XXXIII. p. 156. Retrieved 2010-06-16. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ José Fernández Bromón (1888-05-15). "Sucesos de Marruecos" (PDF) (in Spanish). La Ilustración Española y Americana nº XVIII. p. 307. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  4. ^ Cust, R. (1884). "The railway over the Sahára from Algeria to the Senegál and the destruction of Colonel Flatters". Journal of the Royal United Service Institution. Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. 28 (77): 839–856. doi:10.1080/03071848409424351. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Mackenzie, Donald (1877). The flooding of the Sahara: an account of the proposed plan for opening Central Africa to commerce and civilization from the north-west coast, with a description of Soudan and western Sahara, and notes of ancient manuscripts, &c. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  6. ^ fr:Sebkha Tah
  7. ^ "El Djouf desert, Mauritania".

Coordinates: 27°56′52″N 12°55′24″W / 27.94778°N 12.92333°W

Antoine de Saint-Exupery Museum

The Antoine de Saint Exupéry Museum is a museum of air mail in Tarfaya, Morocco. Founded in 2004, it is devoted to author and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944), who lived there for two years, from 1927 to 1929, and found there the inspiration for much of his literary work.In 1927, Saint-Exupéry was appointed chief of the stopover airfield in the Tarfaya region, formerly known as Cape Juby. Tarfaya opened the museum in 2004 to recount the history of the aviation company Aéropostale and its route from Toulouse to Saint-Louis, Senegal. The museum is the principal attraction for visitors to the town.

Army of Africa (Spain)

The Army of Africa (Spanish: Ejército de África, Arabic: الجيش الإسباني في أفريقيا‎, Al-Jaysh al-Isbānī fī Afriqā) or "Moroccan Army Corps" (Cuerpo de Ejército Marroquí') was a field army of the Spanish Army that garrisoned the Spanish protectorate in Morocco from the late 19th century until Morocco's independence in 1956.

At the start of the 20th century, the Spanish Empire's colonial possessions in Africa comprised Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Ifni, Cape Juby and Spanish Guinea.

Compendium of postage stamp issuers (Ca–Ce)

Each "article" in this category is a collection of entries about several stamp issuers, presented in alphabetical order. The entries are formulated on the micro model and so provide summary information about all known issuers.

See the Category:Compendium of postage stamp issuers page for details of the project.


A headland (or simply head) is a coastal landform, a point of land usually high and often with a sheer drop, that extends into a body of water. It is a type of promontory. A headland of considerable size often is called a cape. Headlands are characterised by high, breaking waves, rocky shores, intense erosion, and steep sea cliffs.

Headlands and bays are often found on the same coastline. A bay is flanked by land on three sides, whereas a headland is flanked by water on three sides. Headlands and bays form on discordant coastlines, where bands of rock of alternating resistance run perpendicular to the coast. Bays form when weak (less resistant) rocks (such as sands and clays) are eroded, leaving bands of stronger (more resistant) rocks (such as chalk, limestone, granite) forming a headland, or peninsula. Through the deposition of sediment within the bay and the erosion of the headlands, coastlines eventually straighten out then start the same process all over again.


Ifni was a Spanish province on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, south of Agadir and across from the Canary Islands.

It had a total area of 1,502 km² (580 sq mi), and a population of 51,517 in 1964. The main industry was fishing.

List of people on the postage stamps of the Spanish colonies

This is a list of people who have appeared on the postage stamps of colonies of Spain.

Postage stamps and postal history of Cape Juby

Cape Juby is a cape on the coast of southern Morocco, near its border with Western Sahara, directly east of the Canary Islands.

In 1912, Spain negotiated with France (who controlled the affairs of Morocco at the time) for concessions on the southern edge of Morocco. The final Spanish protectorate included a southern strip centred on Cape Juby. On July 29, 1916, Francisco Bens officially occupied Cape Juby. The location was used as a staging post for airmail flights.

When Morocco became independent in 1956, it asked for the cession of Moroccan areas controlled by Spain. After some resistance and some fighting in 1957 during the Ifni War, Cape Juby was ceded to Morocco in 1958. The region is now also known as the Tarfaya Strip.

Postage stamps and postal history of Morocco

The postal history of Morocco is complex due to the country's political development in the 20th century. Mails were sent via post offices operated by the Sherifan post created by the Sultan, and by the European powers. After the partition of Morocco into French and Spanish protectorate and the international zone of Tangier in 1912, France and Spain established postal services in their respective zones.

Sahara Sea

The Sahara Sea was the name of a hypothetical macro-engineering project which proposed flooding endorheic basins in the Sahara Desert with waters from the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. The goal of this unrealized project was to create an inland sea that would cover the substantial areas of the Sahara Desert which lie below sea level, bringing humid air, rain, and agriculture deep into the desert.

The possibility of such a project was raised several times by different scientists and engineers during the late 19th century and early 20th century, primarily from European colonial powers in Africa. The concept of a flooded Sahara was also featured in novels of the time.

Santa Cruz de la Mar Pequeña

Santa Cruz de la Mar Pequeña (literally Holy Cross of the Little Sea) was a Spanish settlement on the south-western coast of Morocco, across from the Canary Islands, founded in 1476 as a trading post with a fortress. It was located close to a lagoon (hence its name) not far off Cape Juby.The importance of the settlement was derived from its position in the trans-Saharan slave trade, and captives were shipped to sugar plantations on the Canary Islands.

The Spanish were expelled from the area in 1524 by the Saadi dynasty. After its abandonment, the exact location of Santa Cruz de la Mar Pequeña was forgotten, to the point that when, in 1916, the Spanish gained control of the Cape Juby Strip, which included the location, they assigned it a new name, Puerto Cansado. The place is presently named Foum Agoutir and is near to Tarfaya.

On the other hand, in the mid-nineteenth century, during the Scramble for Africa, France and Spain laid conflicting claims over the Maghreb, and Spain became interested in its lost medieval fortress in order to claim the southern part of Morocco, and for no clear reason Ifni, more than 300 miles north from the real location, was wrongly considered the most likely area; and consequently that territory was ceded to Spain by the Sultanate of Morocco in the treaty of Wad Ras of 1860 as result of the Spanish-Moroccan War of 1859.

Sidi Ifni

Sidi Ifni (Berber: Ifni, ⵉⴼⵏⵉ, Arabic: سيدي إفني‎) is a city located in southwest Morocco, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of approximately 20,000 people. The economic base of the city is fishing. It is located in Guelmim-Oued Noun region and Sidi Ifni Province. Its inhabitants are the Shilha from the Ait Baamrane tribe. In 2000, an important fishing port was completed, which serves as a base for fish exports.

Spanish Africa

Spanish Africa may refer to:

Spanish North Africa (disambiguation)

Contemporary Spanish North Africa, i.e. Spain's autonomous cities

Ceuta, on the north coast of Africa

Melilla, on the north coast of Africa

Plazas de soberanía, sovereign territories scattered along the Mediterranean coast bordering Morocco

Canary Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Morocco

Spanish protectorate of Morocco (1913–1956)

Spanish West Africa (1946–1958)

Spanish Sahara (1884–1975), which included the provinces of Río de Oro and Saguia el-Hamra

Cape Juby, on the coast of southern Morocco, part of Spain prior to 1958

Ifni, on the coast of southern Morocco, part of Spain prior to 1969

Spanish Guinea (1926–1968), now Equatorial Guinea

Annobón, established 1778

Fernando Pó, established 1778

Río Muni, established 1778

Spanish North Africa

Spanish North Africa may refer to:

Contemporary Spanish North Africa:

Spain's two autonomous cities: Ceuta and Melilla, plus other minor territories (plazas de soberanía)

The Canary Islands

Historical Spanish North Africa (1913–1975); former Spanish colonies in Northern Africa, part of the Plazas y Provincias Africanas:

Spanish Morocco

Spanish Sahara


Cape Juby

Spanish West Africa

Spanish West Africa (Spanish: África Occidental Española) is a former possession in the western Sahara Desert that Spain ruled after giving much of its former northwestern African possessions to Morocco. It was created in December 1946, and combined Ifni, Cape Juby and Spanish Sahara.

Spanish protectorate in Morocco

The Spanish protectorate in Morocco was established on 27 November 1912 by a treaty between France and Spain that converted the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco into a formal protectorate.

The Spanish protectorate consisted of a northern strip on the Mediterranean and the Strait of Gibraltar, and a southern part of the protectorate around Cape Juby, bordering the Spanish Sahara. The northern zone became part of independent Morocco on 7 April 1956, shortly after France had ceded its protectorate (French Morocco). Spain finally ceded its southern zone through the Treaty of Angra de Cintra on 1 April 1958, after the short Ifni War. The city of Tangiers was excluded from the Spanish protectorate and received a special internationally controlled status.

Since France already held a protectorate over the entire country and controlled Morocco's foreign affairs (since 30 March 1912), it also held the power to delegate a zone to Spanish protection. The surface area of the zone was about 20,948 km2 (8,088 sq mi), which represents 4.69% of modern-day Morocco.


Tarfaya (Arabic: طرفاية‎ - Ṭarfāya; Berber languages: ⵟⴰⵔⴼⴰⵢⴰ) is a coastal Moroccan town, located at the level of Cape Juby, in southwestern Morocco, on the Atlantic coast. It is located about 890 km southwest of the capital Rabat, and around 100 km from Laayoune and Lanzarote, in the far east of the Canary Islands. During the colonial era, Tarfaya was a Spanish colony known as Villa Bens. It was unified with Morocco in 1958 after the Ifni War, called the Forgotten War in Spain, which started one year after the independence of other regions of Morocco.

Tarfaya is the capital and main town in the Tarfaya Province, and counts a population of 8,027 inhabitants according to the 2014 census. Although founded in the twentieth century, the city has a big historical symbolic in the Moroccan history, dating back to the era of the Green March in November 1975.

The region of Tarfaya has been linked with relations with foreign powers, following several incursions conducted at its coasts (Spanish, Portuguese, British and French). This blending gave the city a special cultural dimension in its history. The famous French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) lived two years (1927-1928) in Tarfaya before writing his masterpiece The Little Prince that was later translated to more than 300 languages and dialects. He served as station manager here during his career as an airmail pilot. In 2004, the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Museum was opened in Tarfaya.

Tarfaya is home to a number of economic projects, including the largest wind farm in Africa, called Tarfaya Wind Farm, and the Casa Del Mar, named as the historical Victoria Harbor, that was founded by the Scottish trader and traveler Donald McKenzie in 1882. It is the meeting area of Atlantic coast with stretching sand dunes.

Sebkha Tah, the lowest altitude point in Morocco (55 meters below sea level) is located in Tarfaya province. Tarfaya is also the closest city to the Khenifiss National Park, added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list, an ecological site home to hundreds of different kinds of migratory birds each year. It is estimated that more than 20,000 birds from 211 different species breed, nest and feed regularly in the park.

Treaty of Fez

The Treaty of Fez (Arabic: معاهدة فاس‎) was a treaty signed on 30 March 1912 in which Sultan Abdelhafid agreed to allow France to make Morocco a French protectorate, ending the Agadir Crisis of 1 July 1911.

Germany recognised the French protectorate in Morocco, receiving in return territories in the French Equatorial African colony of Middle Congo (now the Republic of the Congo). This land, known as Neukamerun, became part of the German colony of Kamerun, part of German West Africa, although it only lasted briefly until it was captured by the Allies in World War I. As part of the treaty, Germany ceded France a small area of territory to the south-east of Fort Lamy, now part of Chad.

France gained authority over non-Moroccan citizens in legislative, military, foreign policy and jurisdictional transactions. According to the treaty, this left the Moroccan government in control of its own citizens. Moroccan nationalists dispute this, noting that France still influenced Moroccan affairs as a result of the treaty.Spain also gained a zone of influence in Northern Morocco which became Spanish Morocco. By the agreement signed with France and Spain in November that year, Spain gained a zone of influence in the Rif and the Cape Juby areas, where the Sultan remained nominally the sovereign and was represented by a vice regent under the control of the Spanish high commission.Private agreements among the United Kingdom, Italy and France in 1904, collectively known as the Entente Cordiale, made without consulting the sultan, had divided the Maghreb into spheres of influence, with France given Morocco. In Morocco, the young Sultan Abdelaziz acceded in 1894 at the age of ten, and Europeans became the main advisers at the court, while local rulers became more and more independent from the sultan. The Sultan was deposed in 1908. Moroccan law and order continued to deteriorate under his successor, Abdelhafid, who abdicated in favour of his brother Yusef after signing the Treaty of Fez.

The Treaty of Fez granted the concession for exploitation of the iron mines of Mount Uixan to the Spanish Rif Mines Company, which was also given permission to build a railroad to connect the mines with Melilla.

The treaty was perceived as a betrayal by Moroccan nationalists and led to the 1912 Fez riots and the War of the Rif (1919–26) between the Spanish and the Moroccan Riffians and the Jebala tribes. Their leader was Abd el-Krim, who, after driving back the Spanish, founded a short-lived state, the Republic of the Rif.

Tropas Nómadas

The Tropas Nómadas (Nomad Troops) were an auxiliary regiment to the colonial army in Spanish Sahara (today Western Sahara), from the 1930s until the end of the Spanish presence in the territory in 1975. Composed of Sahrawi tribesmen, the Tropas Nómadas were equipped with small arms and led by Spanish officers, guarding outposts and sometimes conducting patrols on camelback.

United States Navy reserve fleets

The United States Navy maintains a number of its ships as part of a reserve fleet, often called the "Mothball Fleet". While the details of the maintenance activity have changed several times, the basics are constant: keep the ships afloat and sufficiently working as to be reactivated quickly in an emergency.

In some cases (for instance, at the outset of the Korean War), many ships were successfully reactivated at a considerable savings in time and money. The usual fate of ships in the reserve fleet, though, is to become too old and obsolete to be of any use, at which point they are sold for scrapping or are scuttled in weapons tests.

In rare cases, the general public may intercede for ships from the reserve fleet that are about to be scrapped – usually asking for the Navy to donate them for use as museums, memorials, or artificial reefs.

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