Today marks the anniversary of Moroccan independence. It is the day that Morocco commemorates and remembers Sultan Mohammed V's announcement of the end of Spanish and French colonial rule in 1955.
Rabat – Also known as “Eid Al Istiqlal,” the commemoration of Morocco’s Independence Day also celebrates the return of the royal family from exile in 1955.
Morocco freed itself from the French colonial rule on March 2, 1956, while independence was granted from Spain a month later on April 7, 1956. Although Morocco gained its independence on March 2, the North African country commemorates the anniversary of independence on November 18 instead, at the request of late King Hassan II.
In the 50s, Moroccans celebrated the commemoration of the Independence Day on March 2 until King Hassan II ascended to the throne after the death of his father in 1961.
This day also reminds older Moroccan generations of King Mohammed V’s accession to the throne on November 18, 1927.
Similarly, Sultan Mohammed V delivered his famous speech on November 18, 1955, two days after he returned from exile.
In August 1953, tension broke out between Moroccan citizens, and colonial powers decided to exile Sultan Mohammed V and the rest of the royal family, including late King Hassan II, who was back then Crown Prince of Morocco.
The decision of the French colonizers led to a revolution from the Moroccan resistance and liberation army, who played a crucial role and fought for Morocco’s territorial integrity and the return of the beloved sultan and the royal family.
Therefore, the day is a journey to remember Moroccans’ revolution against colonizers and their sacrifices to defend Morocco’s territorial integrity.
After three years in exile, the royal family came back home in 1955 when Sultan Mohammed V successfully negotiated with France and Spain for the independence of Morocco.
The late King then announced the end of colonial rule, saying in his speech delivered from Rabat on November 18, 1955: “ We are delighted to announce the end of the trusteeship system and protectorate and the advent of freedom and independence.”
The celebration comes two weeks after the yearly commemoration of the historical Green March on November 6. On October 16, 1975, King Hassan II delivered a speech inviting Moroccan citizens to participate in the famous Green March.
“We have to do one thing dear people and that is to undertake a peaceful march from the north, the east, the west to the south. It behooves us to act as one man in order to join the Sahara,” King Hassan II said.
The day also symbolizes Moroccans commitment and contribution to independence.