Rabat – For Moroccans, April 9 is a day to remember . The date marks two symbolic events for Morocco: the commemoration of two “historic” visits paid by late King Mohammed V to the cities of the north – Tangier and Tetouan in 1947 and 1956.
In 1947, the late Sultan of Morocco traveled to Tangier, where he delivered a patriotic speech, defying protectorate authorities and emphasizing the Moroccan people’s attachment to their country’s territorial integrity.
In his speech, given in the Mendoubia Gardens of Tangier before the representatives of the colonizing authorities in Tangier, the late King clearly articulated the will of the Moroccan people to recover their independence.
He delivered the same message on April 10, at the Great Mosque of Tangier, calling on the nation to remain committed to the precepts of Islam, emphasizing the anchoring position of Morocco to the Arab-Islamic world.
Ten years later in 1956, Sultan Mohammed V travelled to Tetouan on April 9, where he announced the independence and unification of the North and South of Morocco. The declaration followed the return of the Sultan, after a stay in Spain, where he had held negotiations for Morocco’s independence. On April 7, 1956, the declaration and an annexed protocol under which Madrid recognized the independence of Morocco and its sovereignty over its entire territory was signed.
Commemorating the royal visit of the late Sultan, the High Commissioner for resistance veterans and members of the Liberation Army described the visit as a break between two eras: that of the struggle waged by the Royal Palace and the pioneers of the National Movement against the the French Protectorate and that of the claim of the right of Morocco to its independence before the international community.
Colonial authorities stood against the aspirations of the King and Moroccan people, territorial integrity and the attachment values. However, the colonizers could not deter the Sultan and the resistance army’s determination towards their main goals: freedom and independence.
Mohammed V’s visits to the northern cities demonstrated the unity of Morocco and marked the opportunity for the nation to claim its freedom and sovereignty loud and clear, according to the High Commissioner.
The visits also demonstrated the activism of Moroccans and their mobilization behind the late King to defend the integrity and sovereignty of Morocco.
Both events represent a call for Moroccans to do their utmost to defend Morocco’s territorial integrity and preserve the historical facts of Morocco’s resistance against protectorate powers.