French Protectorate in Morocco

The French protectorate in Morocco (French: Protectorat français au Maroc, pronounced [pʁɔtɛktɔʁa fʁɑ̃sɛ o maʁɔk]; Arabic: الحماية الفرنسية في المغرب‎, translit. Ḥimāyat Faransā fi-l-Maḡrib), also known as French Morocco (French: Maroc Français), was a territory established by the Treaty of Fez. It existed from 1912, when the protectorate was formally established, until independence and dissolution in 1956. It shared territory variously with the Spanish protectorate, established and dissolved the same years; its borders consisted of the area of Morocco between the "Corridor of Taza" and the Draa River, including sparse tribal lands, and the official capital was Rabat.

French protectorate in Morocco

Protectorat français au Maroc
الحماية الفرنسية في المغرب
La Marseillaise (de facto)
Cherifian Anthem
Hymne Chérifien  (French)
(traditional, instrumental only)
French conquest of Morocco, c. 1907-1927.[2]
French conquest of Morocco, c. 1907-1927.[2]
StatusProtectorate of France
Common languagesFrench (official, administrative)
Moroccan Arabic
Standard Arabic
Roman Catholicism
Islam (majority)
• 1912–25
Hubert Lyautey
• 1955–56
André Louis Dubois
• 1912–27
• 1927–53
Mohammed V
• 1953–55
Mohammed Ben Aarafa (French puppet)
• 1955–56
Mohammed V
Historical eraWorld War I to Cold War
March 30 1912
April 7[3] 1956
CurrencyMoroccan rial
Moroccan franc
French franc (de facto in some areas)
Preceded by
Succeeded by


Marocco from observations in 1830
Map of Atlantic coast of Morocco (1830)

Despite the weakness of its authority, the Alaouite dynasty distinguished itself in the 18th and 19th centuries by maintaining Morocco’s independence while other states in the region succumbed to French or British domination. However, in the latter part of the 19th century Morocco’s weakness and instability invited European intervention to protect threatened investments and to demand economic concessions. The first years of the 20th century witnessed a rush of diplomatic maneuvering through which the European powers and France in particular furthered their interests in North Africa.[4]

French activity in Morocco began during the end of the 19th century. In 1904 the French government was trying to establish a protectorate over Morocco, and had managed to sign two bilateral secret agreements with Britain (8 April 1904, see Entente cordiale) and Spain (7 October 1904), which guaranteed the support of the powers in question in this endeavour. France and Spain secretly partitioned the territory of the sultanate, with Spain receiving concessions in the far north and south of the country.[5]

First Moroccan Crisis: March 1905 – May 1906

The First Moroccan Crisis grew out of the imperial rivalries of the great powers, in this case, between Germany on one side and France, with British support, on the other. Germany took immediate diplomatic action to block the new accord from going into effect, including the dramatic visit of Wilhelm II to Tangier in Morocco on March 31, 1905. Kaiser Wilhelm tried to get Morocco's support if they went to war with France or Britain, and gave a speech expressing support for Moroccan independence, which amounted to a provocative challenge to French influence in Morocco.[6]

In 1906 the Algeciras Conference was held to settle the dispute, and Germany accepted an agreement in which France agreed to yield control of the Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of Moroccan political and financial affairs. Although the Algeciras Conference temporarily solved the First Moroccan Crisis it only worsened international tensions between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente.[7]

Agadir Crisis

Maroc preco
The French artillery at Rabat in 1911

In 1911, a rebellion broke out in Morocco against the Sultan, Abdelhafid. By early April 1911, the Sultan was besieged in his palace in Fez and the French prepared to send troops to help put down the rebellion under the pretext of protecting European lives and property. The French dispatched a flying column at the end of April 1911 and Germany gave approval for the occupation of the city. Moroccan forces besieged the French-occupied city. Approximately one month later, French forces brought the siege to an end. On 5 June 1911 the Spanish occupied Larache and Ksar-el-Kebir. On 1 July 1911 the German gunboat Panther arrived at the port of Agadir. There was an immediate reaction from the French, supported by the British.[8]

French protectorate 1912–1956

Morocco medal 22 July 1909
French Moroccan medal
Morocco 1918
Bond of the French protectorate Morocco, issued 1st March 1918

France officially established a protectorate over Morocco with the Treaty of Fez,[9] ending what remained of the country's de facto independence. From a strictly legal point of view, the treaty did not deprive Morocco of its status as a sovereign state. The Sultan reigned but did not rule. Sultan Abdelhafid abdicated in favour of his brother Yusef after signing the treaty. On April 17, 1912, Moroccan infantrymen mutinied in the French garrison in Fez, in the 1912 Fes riots[10] The Moroccans were unable to take the city and were defeated by a French relief force. In late May 1912, Moroccan forces again unsuccessfully attacked the enhanced French garrison at Fez.

In establishing their protectorate over much of Morocco, the French had behind them the experience of the conquest of Algeria and of their protectorate over Tunisia; they took the latter as the model for their Moroccan policy. There were, however, important differences. First, the protectorate was established only two years before the outbreak of World War I, which brought with it a new attitude toward colonial rule. Rejecting the typical French assimilationist approach to culture and education as a liberal fantasy, Morocco's conservative French rulers attempted to use urban planning and colonial education to prevent cultural mixing and to uphold the traditional society upon which the French depended for collaboration.[11] Second, Morocco had a thousand-year tradition of independence and had never been subjected to Ottoman rule, though it had been strongly influenced by the civilization of Muslim Iberia and there were periods during the Almoravid and Alhomad dynasties when areas on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar were under the same rulers. These circumstances and the proximity of Morocco to Spain created a special relationship between the two countries.

Morocco was also unique among the North African countries in possessing a coast on the Atlantic, in the rights that various nations derived from the Conference of Algeciras, and in the privileges that their diplomatic missions had acquired in Tangier. Thus the northern tenth of the country, with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, were excluded from the French-controlled area and treated as a Spanish protectorate.

Although being under protectorate, Morocco retained -de jure- its personality as a state in international law, according to an International Court of Justice statement, and thus remained a sovereign state, without discontinuity between pre-colonial and modern entities.[12] In fact, the French enjoyed much larger powers.

Under the protectorate, French civil servants allied themselves with the French colonists and with their supporters in France to prevent any moves in the direction of Moroccan autonomy. As pacification proceeded, the French government promoted economic development, particularly the exploitation of Morocco’s mineral wealth, the creation of a modern transportation system, and the development of a modern agriculture sector geared to the French market. Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco and bought up large amounts of the rich agricultural land. Interest groups that formed among these elements continually pressured France to increase its control over Morocco.

Lyautey and the Protectorate (1912–1925)

General Lyautey-Pirou-img 3150
Marshal Lyautey, first resident general of French Morocco. He represented French colonial interests while also upholding the authority of the sultan.

Hubert Lyautey, the first Resident-General of the Protectorate, was an idealistic yet pragmatic leader with royalist leanings, who made it his mission to develop Morocco in every sector under French influence. Unlike his compatriots, Lyautey didn't believe that France should directly annex Morocco like French Algeria, but rather remodel and re-educate Moroccan society. He promised that, in this process, he would:

...offend no tradition, change no custom, and remind ourselves that in all human society there is a ruling class, born to rule, without which nothing can be done...[we] enlist the ruling class in our service...and the country will be pacified, and at far less cost and with greater certainty than by all the military expeditions we could send there...

Lyautey's vision was ideological: A powerful, pro-French, Westernized monarchy that would work with France and look to France for culture and aid. Unlike in Algeria, where the entire nobility and government had been displaced, the Moroccan nobility was included in Lyautey's plans. He worked with them, offering support and building elite private schools to which they could send their children; one notable product of this schooling was Thami El Glaoui.[13]

Lyautey allowed the Sultan to retain his powers, both nominal and practical: He issued decrees in his own name and seal, and was allowed to remain religious leader of Morocco; he was further allowed an all-Arab court. Lyautey once said of this:

In Morocco, there is only one government, the sharifian government, protected by the French.

Walter Burton Harris, a British journalist who wrote extensively on Morocco, commented upon French preservation of traditional Moroccan society:[13]

At the Moorish court, scarcely a European is to be seen, and to the native who arrives at the Capital [sic] there is little or no visible change from what he and his ancestors saw in the past.

Lyautey served his post until 1925, in the late midst of the failed revolt of the Republic of the Rif against Franco-Spanish administration and the Sultan.

Opposition to French control

Rif Rebellion

Flag of the Republic of the Rif
Flag of the Rif Republic (1921–1926)

Sultan Yusef's reign, from 1912 to 1927, was turbulent and marked with frequent uprisings against Spain and France. The most serious of these was a Berber uprising in the Rif Mountains, led by Abd el-Krim, who managed to establish a republic in the Rif. Though this rebellion began in the Spanish-controlled area in the north, it reached the French-controlled area. A coalition of France and Spain finally defeated the rebels in 1925. To ensure their own safety, the French moved the court from Fez to Rabat, which has served as the capital ever since.[14]

Nationalist parties

In December 1934, a small group of nationalists, members of the newly formed Moroccan Action Committee (Comité d’Action Marocaine – CAM), proposed a Plan of Reforms that called for a return to indirect rule as envisaged by the Treaty of Fez, admission of Moroccans to government positions, and establishment of representative councils. The moderate tactics used by the CAM to obtain consideration of reform – including petitions, newspaper editorials, and personal appeals to French. Nationalist political parties, which subsequently arose under the French protectorate, based their arguments for Moroccan independence on such World War II declarations as the Atlantic Charter.[15]

During World War II, the badly divided nationalist movement became more cohesive, and informed Moroccans dared to consider the real possibility of political change in the post-war era. However, the nationalists were disappointed in their belief that the Allied victory in Morocco would pave the way for independence. In January 1944, the Istiqlal Party, which subsequently provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement, released a manifesto demanding full independence, national reunification, and a democratic constitution. The sultan had approved the manifesto before its submission to the French resident general, who answered that no basic change in the protectorate status was being considered.[16]

Exile of Sultan Mohammed

The general sympathy of the sultan for the nationalists had become evident by the end of the war, although he still hoped to see complete independence achieved gradually. By contrast, the residency, supported by French economic interests and vigorously backed by most of the colonists, adamantly refused to consider even reforms short of independence. Official intransigence contributed to increased animosity between the nationalists and the colonists and gradually widened the split between the sultan and the resident general.

Mohammed V and his family were transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. His replacement by the unpopular Mohammed Ben Aarafa, whose reign was perceived as illegitimate, sparked active opposition to the French protectorate both from nationalists and those who saw the sultan as a religious leader.[17] By 1955, Ben Arafa was pressured to abdicate; consequently, he fled to Tangier where he formally abdicated.[18]

Later on, faced with a united Moroccan demand for the sultan’s return, on a great scale, rising violence in Morocco, and the deteriorating situation in Algeria, Mohammed V was returned from exile on November 16, 1955, and declared independence on November 18, 1955. In February 1956 he successfully negotiated with France to enforce the independence of Morocco, and in 1957 took the title of King.

1956 independence

In late 1955, Mohammed V successfully negotiated the gradual restoration of Moroccan independence within a framework of French-Moroccan interdependence. The sultan agreed to institute reforms that would transform Morocco into a constitutional monarchy with a democratic form of government. In February 1956, Morocco acquired limited home rule. Further negotiations for full independence culminated in the French-Moroccan Agreement signed in Paris on March 2, 1956.[19][20] On April 7 of that year France officially relinquished its protectorate in Morocco. The internationalized city of Tangier was reintegrated with the signing of the Tangier Protocol on October 29, 1956.[21] The abolition of the Spanish protectorate and the recognition of Moroccan independence by Spain were negotiated separately and made final in the Joint Declaration of April 1956.[22] Through these agreements with Spain in 1956 and 1958, Moroccan control over certain Spanish-ruled areas was restored, though attempts to claim other Spanish possessions through military action were less successful.

In the months that followed independence, Mohammed V proceeded to build a modern governmental structure under a constitutional monarchy in which the sultan would exercise an active political role. He acted cautiously, having no intention of permitting more radical elements in the nationalist movement to overthrow the established order. He was also intent on preventing the Istiqlal Party from consolidating its control and establishing a one-party state. In August 1957, Mohammed V assumed the title of king.

Monetary policy

The French minted coinage for use in the Protectorate from 1921 until 1956, which continued to circulate until a new currency was introduced. The French minted coins with denomination of francs, which were divided into 100 centimes. This was replaced in 1960 with the reintroduction of the dirham, Morocco's current currency.

The Algeciras Conference gave concessions to the European bankers, ranging from a newly formed State Bank of Morocco, to issuing banknotes backed by gold, with a 40-year term. The new state bank was to act as Morocco's Central Bank, but with a strict cap on the spending of the Sherifian Empire, with administrators appointed by the national banks that guaranteed the loans: the German Empire, United Kingdom, France and Spain.[23]

Postal history

A French postal agency had sent mail from Tangier as early as 1854,[24] but the formal beginning of the system was in 1891, when French post offices were established throughout the sultanate.[25] The offices issued postage stamps of France surcharged with values in pesetas and centimos, at a 1–1 ratio with the denominations in French currency, using both the Type Sage issues, and after 1902, Mouflon issue inscribed "MAROC" (which were never officially issued without the surcharge). In 1911, the Mouflon designs were overprinted in Arabic; in the same year, the Sherifian post was created to handle local mail, using special stamps.

The first stamps of the protectorate appeared 1 August 1914, and were just the existing stamps with the additional overprint reading "PROTECTORAT FRANCAIS".[26] The first new designs were in an issue of 1917, consisting of 17 stamps in six designs, denominated in centimes and francs, and inscribed "MAROC".


Morocco had from 1912–1935 one of the largest 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge networks in Africa with total length of more than 1,700 kilometres.[27] After the treaty of Algeciras where the representatives of Great Powers agreed not to build any standard gauge railway in Morocco until the standard gauge TangierFez Railway being completed, the French had begun to build military 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge lines in their part of Morocco.

See also


  1. ^ Bulletin officiel de l'Empire chérifien : Protectorat de la République française au Maroc, Rabat, vol. 4, no 162, november 29th 1915, p. 838 [1]
  2. ^ Miller, Susan Gilson (15 April 2013). "A History of Modern Morocco". Cambridge University Press – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "National Holidays & Religious Holidays:". 4 October 2013.
  4. ^ Furlong, Charles Wellington (September 1911). "The French Conquest Of Morocco: The Real Meaning Of The International Trouble". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. XXII: 14988–14999. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  5. ^ Laskier, Michael M. (2012-02-01). Alliance Israelite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco, 1862-1962, The. SUNY Press. p. 41. ISBN 9781438410166.
  6. ^ Lowe, John (1994). The Great Powers, Imperialism, and the German Problem, 1865-1925. Psychology Press. p. 166. ISBN 9780415104449.
  7. ^ Olson, James Stuart (1991). Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 8. ISBN 9780313262579.
  8. ^ Kirshner, Jonathan (1997). Currency and Coercion: The Political Economy of International Monetary Power. Princeton University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0691016267.
  9. ^ "TRAITÉ conclu entre la France et le Maroc le 30 mars 1912, pour l'Organisation du Protectorat Français dans l'Empire Chérifien" (PDF). Bulletin officiel de l'Empire chérifien : Protectorat de la République française au Maroc (in French). Rabat. 1 (1): 1–2. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  10. ^ H. Z(J. W.) Hirschberg (1981). A history of the Jews in North Africa: From the Ottoman conquests to the present time / edited by Eliezer Bashan and Robert Attal. BRILL. p. 318. ISBN 90-04-06295-5.
  11. ^ "Segalla, Spencer 2009,The Moroccan Soul: French Education, Colonial Ethnology, and Muslim Resistance, 1912–1956. Nebraska University Press"
  12. ^ Bengt Brons, "States : The classification of States", in: International Law: Achievements and Prospects, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1991 (ISBN 9789231027161), p.51 §.31 [2]
  13. ^ a b "A History of Modern Morocco" p.90-91 Susan Gilson Miller, Cambridge University Press 2013
  14. ^ Lepage, Jean-Denis G. G. (2007-11-27). The French Foreign Legion: An Illustrated History. McFarland. p. 125. ISBN 9780786462537.
  15. ^ Africa, Unesco International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of (1990). Africa Under Colonial Domination, 1880-1935. Currey. p. 268. ISBN 9780852550977.
  16. ^ Zisenwine, Daniel (2010-09-30). Emergence of Nationalist Politics in Morocco: The Rise of the Independence Party and the Struggle Against Colonialism After World War II. I.B.Tauris. p. 39. ISBN 9780857718532.
  17. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014-02-04). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Routledge. p. 558. ISBN 9781134264902.
  18. ^ Lawless, Richard I.; Findlay, Allan (2015-05-15). North Africa (RLE Economy of the Middle East): Contemporary Politics and Economic Development. Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 9781317592983.
  19. ^ "Déclaration commune" (in French). Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (France). March 2, 1956.
  20. ^ "French-Moroccan Declaration". Department of State Bulletin. Department of State. XXXIV (873): 466–467. March 19, 1956. (unofficial translation)
  21. ^ "Final Declaration of the International Conference in Tangier and annexed Protocol. Signed at Tangier, on 29 October 1956 [1957] UNTSer 130; 263 UNTS 165". 1956.
  22. ^ "Spanish-Moroccan Declaration". Department of State Bulletin. Department of State. XXXIV (878): 667–668. April 23, 1956. (unofficial translation)
  23. ^ Holmes, James R. (2017-05-29). Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 199. ISBN 9781574888836.
  24. ^ The Collectors Club Philatelist. Collectors Club. 1948. p. 23.
  25. ^ Gottreich, Emily (2007). The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City. Indiana University Press. p. 85. ISBN 0253218632.
  26. ^ The New England Philatelist. Essex Publishing Company. 1914. p. 336.
  27. ^ Rogerson, Barnaby (2000). Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat. New Holland Publishers. p. 12. ISBN 9781860119736.

Further reading

  • Gershovich, Moshe (2000). French Military Rule in Morocco: colonialism and its consequences. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4949-X.
  • Roberts, Stephen A. History of French Colonial Policy 1870-1925 (2 vol 1929) vol 2 pp 545–90 online
  • Bensoussan, David (2012). Il était une fois le Maroc : témoignages du passé judéo-marocain. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1-4759-2608-8.

Coordinates: 32°N 6°W / 32°N 6°W

1912 Fez riots

The Fez Riots, also known as the Fez Mutiny, Fez Uprising, Tritl (by the Jewish community) and Fez's Bloody Days (from French: Les Journées Sanglantes de Fès) were riots which took place in Fez, then the capital of Morocco, shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Fez on 30 March 1912 which created the French protectorate in Morocco.Shortly before the riots the population of Fez learnt about the treaty, and in general viewed it as a betrayal by Sultan Abd al-Hafid who had travelled to Rabat to ensure his safety. After the riots he was forced to abdicate in favour of his brother Yusuf.Despite warnings of an uprising, most French troops left Fez, leaving behind 1,500 French troops and 5,000 Moroccan askars (local colonial infantrymen) commanded by French officers. On the morning of 17 April, the French officers announced the new measures to their askars. Many units immediately mutinied, causing a total loss of control.

The soldiers attacked their French commanders, then left their barracks and attacked the European and Jewish quarters of the city. French artillery shelling was used to force the rebels to surrender, which took place after two days. The death toll included 66 Europeans, 42 Jews and some 600 Moroccans.The first account of the riot was written by Hubert Jacques, a journalist at Le Matin, and a personal friend of Resident-General Hubert Lyautey. The report was strongly critical of Eugène Regnault.

1948 Anti-Jewish riots in Oujda and Jerada

The 1948 Anti-Jewish riots in Oujda and Jerada, the latter also known as Djerada, occurred on June 7–8, 1948, in the towns of Oujda and Jerada, in the northeast of the French protectorate in Morocco.

In those events 43 Jews and one Frenchman were killed and approximately 150 injured at the hands of local Muslims.French officials argued that the riots were "absolutely localized" to Oujda and Jerada, and that it had been "migration itself - and not widespread anti-Jewish animosity - that had sparked Muslim anger".

Archives du Maroc

The Archives du Maroc (est. 2007) is an archives in Rabat, Morocco, on Avenue Ibn Battouta. Jamaâ Baida became director in 2011. It opened to the public in 2013. Among its holdings are materials related to the colonial French protectorate in Morocco. The newly created Conseil national des archives (National Council on Archives) is expected to coordinate its activities with the Archives du Maroc.

Battle of El Herri

The Battle of El Herri (also known as Elhri) was fought between France and the Berber Zaian Confederation on 13 November 1914. It took place at the small settlement of El Herri, near Khénifra in the French protectorate in Morocco. The battle was part of the Zaian War, in which the confederation of tribes sought to oppose continued French expansion into the interior of Morocco. Having captured the strategic town of Khénifra earlier in the year, the French, under General Hubert Lyautey, entered negotiations with Mouha ou Hammou Zayani, who led the Zaian. Lyautey thought that peace could be achieved and ordered Lieutenant-Colonel René Laverdure, who commanded the garrison in Khénifra, not to launch any offensives.

Laverdure became frustrated with the lack of action and, on 13 November, led almost his entire garrison in an attack on the Zaian encampment at El Herri. The attack initially went well, with his artillery and cavalry clearing the tribesmen from the camp, looting the Zaian tents and capturing two of Hammou's wives. However, the French encountered a significant Zaian force during its withdrawal to Khénifra. This force engaged the French with harassing fire, forcing them to move only under the cover of their artillery. Laverdure then ordered his wounded back to Khénifra with a guard of a company of infantry, which were joined by large numbers of other troops who broke ranks to join the column. Whilst making a river crossing, Laverdure's rear guard and artillery were overrun and annihilated. Laverdure's remaining troops then formed square and fought a desperate last stand against several thousand tribesmen before they were also overrun and killed.

The French losses were significant: some 623 North African, Senegalese and French soldiers (including Laverdure) were killed and 176 wounded. The Zaian lost around 182 men killed. The column of wounded reached Khénifra just ahead of pursuing Zaian forces and the town came under siege. Lyautey was dismayed at Laverdure's actions and was briefly of the opinion that he had cost him the war. However, a relief force reached Khénifra within a few days and the situation stabilised. The Zaian War lasted until 1921 when negotiations secured the submission of much of the confederation to French rule and a military offensive pushed the remainder into the High Atlas mountains.

Berber Dahir

The so-called Berber Dahir is a dahir (decree) created by French protectorate in Morocco on May 16, 1930. It was an adaptation of secular, traditional Berber laws to the conditions of the time. The French wanted to facilitate their takeover of the Berber tribes' property while maintaining the Berber customary laws in place. The laws would only apply on some Berber-speaking regions, where the Islamic laws were already not applied. This decree was signed by Mohammed V the Moroccan king at the time. The Dahir was cancelled following pressure by Arab-minded nationalists and Islamists, who saw it as a threat to Arab rule and Islamic sharia. The decree's original French name translates to: The decree that manages the course of justice in the regions of Berber customs.

The core general objective of the French occupation authority was the takeover of the lands of the Berber tribes under a legal cover.


Dahir may refer to:

Dahir, Fujairah, a settlement in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

Dahir Riyale Kahin (born 1952), the third president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland

Raja Dahir (661-712), last Hindu ruler of Sindh and parts of Punjab in modern-day Pakistan

Berber Dahir, a decree created by the French protectorate in Morocco on May 16, 1930

Moroccan Dahir, a decree by the King of Morocco

Engineering Arm

The Engineering Arm, or l'arme du génie, is the Military engineering arm of the French Army.

The Engineering Arm's soldiers are known as sappers (sapeurs). Its soldiers in the Paris Fire Brigade are more specifically sapiers-pompiers, and those of the Civil Security Instruction and Intervention Units are more specifically sapeurs-sauveteurs. The Arm's colours are red and black, and its patron saint is Saint Barbara. The Arm's motto is "Parfois détruire, souvent construire, toujours servir!", meaning "Sometimes to destroy, often to build, always to serve!"

The Engineering Arm is divided into three main services:

The Land Component of the Defence Infrastructure Service, Composante Terre du Service d'infrastructure de la Défense (also known by its former title of the Engineering Service, le Service du Génie) fulfils conventional engineering roles for the French military and ministry of Defence. This includes the Technical Service for Buildings, Fortifications and Works, Service technique des bâtiments, fortifications et travaux

Combat Engineering Regiments maintained throughout the French Army, namely

The 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment, 1er régiment étranger de génie, a Foreign Legion regiment based in Laudun-l'Ardoise

The 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment, 2e régiment étranger de génie, a Foreign Legion regiment based in Saint-Christol

The 3rd Engineer Regiment, 3e régiment du génie, based in Charleville-Mézières, founded in 1814.

The 6th Engineer Regiment, 6e régiment du génie, based in Angers

The 13th Engineer Regiment, 13e régiment du génie, based in Valdahon

The 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment, 17e régiment du génie parachutiste, an elite unit based in Montauban

The 19th Engineer Regiment, 19e régiment du génie, based in Besançon, which is descended from the Engineering Arm's units in French Algeria and is currently responsible for railway-related combat engineering.

The 31st Engineer Regiment, 31e régiment du génie, based in Castelsarrasin, which is descended from the Engineering Arm's units in the French protectorate in Morocco

Fire and rescue services, provided by "Engineering Security" (sécurité du génie), which is composed of:

the Paris Fire Brigade (BSPP), consisting of 8,600 soldiers

the Military Formations Command for Civil Security (Commandement des Formations Militaire de la Sécurité Civile) which maintains three "Civil Security Instruction and Intervention Units" (unités d'instruction et d'intervention de la sécurité civile, UIISC). These units have no territorial responsibilities and can be deployed on rescue missions in France or abroad at short notice. UIISC 1 and UIISC 7 are battalion-strength rapid reaction units, while UIISC 5 is of company strength and is primarily a training unit.In addition, the 25th Air Engineer Regiment (25e régiment du génie de l'air) is shared between the army and air force. The regiment is specialised in building and maintaining air bases. The regiment is formally a part of the Engineering Arm, although it is operationally commanded by the air force.

French North Africa

French North Africa was a collection of territories in North Africa controlled by France during the 19th and 20th century colonial era, centering on French Algeria. At its height, it comprised most of the Maghreb.

In the 19th century, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which had loosely controlled the area since the 16th century, left the region vulnerable to other forces. In 1830, French troops captured Algiers and from 1848 until independence in 1962, France treated Mediterranean Algeria as an integral part of France, the Métropole or metropolitan France. Seeking to expand their influence beyond Algeria, the French established protectorates to the east and west of it. The French protectorate of Tunisia was established in 1881, following a military invasion, and the French protectorate in Morocco in 1912. These lasted until 1955, in the case of Morocco, and 1956, when Tunisia gained full independence.

French North Africa came to an end soon after the Évian Accords of March 1962, which enabled the Algerian independence referendum of July 1962.

Great Mosque of Salé

The Great Mosque of Salé (Arabic: المسجد الأعظم‎, Masjid Al Aadam) is a mosque in Salé, Morocco. Covering an area of 5,070 m2 (54,600 sq ft), it is the third-largest mosque in Morocco, and was originally built between 1028 and 1029. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times since the original construction. It was built in Almoravid and Almohad architectural styles, and the mosque features nine arches. It was severely damaged in the Bombardment of Salé of 1851, and was briefly closed during the French protectorate in Morocco.

List of French residents-general in Morocco

In 1911, the conquest of Morocco was initiated by the French Third Republic, in the aftermath of the Agadir Crisis. While the conquest itself lasted until 1934, the Treaty of Fez was signed on 30 March 1912. According to the treaty, most of Morocco would become a French protectorate from 1912 to 1956, when the country regained its independence.

Lycée Lyautey (Casablanca)

Lycée Lyautey is a French institution of secondary education located in Casablanca, Morocco. It is composed of a collège (middle school) and a lycée (high school), and belongs to the Académie de Bordeaux, an educational administrative district in France. The school was named after Marshal Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey who was the first French Resident General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925, at the beginning of the French protectorate in Morocco.Lycée Lyautey is the largest of the 32 academic institutions administered directly by the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE) in Morocco, and it's the second largest directly-administered AEFE institution in the world.With approximately 3,458 students (1,582 of whom hold French nationality) and 257 teachers, it is the second largest French educational institution in Morocco, after Lycée Louis-Massignon, which is administered by the French Mission. The average individual class size at Lycée Lyautey is 29 students.

96.51% of the class of 2008 passed the baccalauréat général exams (L, ES and S), whereas the French national average success rate was around 83.3%. 13% of the students passed the French baccalauréat général exams with the highest honors. The Lycée also offers vocational and technology French Baccalaureate diplomas.

Moroccans in France

Moroccans in France are people of Moroccan descent living in France. People of Moroccan origin account for a large sector of the total immigrant population in France. Following the French protectorate in Morocco from 1912 to 1956, many Moroccans chose to immigrate to France from the 1960s to the present due to France's favorable economic conditions.

Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tahar Ben Jelloun (Arabic: الطاهر بن جلون‎; born in Fes, French protectorate in Morocco, 1 December 1944) is a Moroccan writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic. He became known for his 1985 novel L’Enfant de Sable (The Sand Child). Today he lives in Paris and continues to write. He has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Thami El Glaoui

Thami El Glaoui (Berber: ⵜⵜⵀⴰⵎⵉ ⴰⴳⵍⴰⵡⵡⵓ; Arabic: التهامي الكلاوي‎; 1879 - 23 January 1956), known in English as Lord of the Atlas, was the Pasha of Marrakesh from 1912 to 1956. His family name was el Mezouari, from a title given an ancestor by Ismail Ibn Sharif in 1700, while El Glaoui refers to his chieftainship of the Glaoua (Glawa) tribe of the Berbers of southern Morocco, based at the Kasbah of Telouet in the High Atlas and at Marrakesh. El Glaoui became head of the Glaoua upon the death of his elder brother, Si el-Madani, and as an ally of the French protectorate in Morocco, conspired with them in the overthrow of Sultan Mohammed V.

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 became Abd el-Krim, who, after driving back the Spanish, founded a short-lived state, the Republic of the Rif.

Franco-Moroccan conflicts
Major conflicts
Key people

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