Morocco has played a key role in the liberation movements in Africa and has shown unconditional support for its African brothers in their struggle for freedom. This is further detailed in a documentary capsule shown during the celebration of Africa Day, which this year coincides with the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the African continent.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad organized a ceremony on Thursday evening on the occasion of the celebration of Africa Day as part of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of African continent in the presence of members of the government, the High Commissioner for former resistance fighters and former members of the liberation army, Mustapha El Ktiri, as well as numerous ambassadors from foreign countries accredited to the Kingdom.
On this occasion, a documentary capsule on “Morocco and the liberation movements in Africa” signed Hassan El Bouharrouti was screened, highlighting the story of the attachment and support, testimonials in support, that Morocco has given to the liberation movements in Africa and which began under the reign of the late King Mohammed V. Here are the details.
Morocco and the OAU
The beginning of the struggle for the decolonization of Africa began in the 1930s until the end of the 1970s.
On January 11, 1944, Moroccan nationalists presented Sultan Mohammed V with a manifesto demanding the end of the protectorate. Indeed, in March 1956, Christian Pineau and Si Bekkaï signed at the Quai d’Orsay, the joint declaration which put an end to the Treaty of Fez and gave Morocco its independence.
Between January 4 and 7, 1961, King Mohammed V, aware of his responsibilities towards the African continent, organized a summit of independent African states in Casablanca. A meeting attended by representatives of 8 nations. These include Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana, Madibo Keita from Mali, Amadou Sékou Touré from Guinea Conakry, Jamal Abdel Nasser from Egypt, and Ferhat Abbas representing the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic “GPRA”.
Additionally, the Casablanca Conference of 1961 was the first step towards the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
Mustapha El Ktiri, High Commissioner for Former Resistance and Former Members of the Liberation Army: ” Algeria was the object of special attention from the late Mohammed V and the late Hassan II in its struggle for liberation. Our country hosted the Algerian Liberation Army (ALN) and also the GRPA“.
Mohammed Zine El Abidine Al Houssaini, historian and university professor: ” Moroccan support for African countries has been characterized in two ways: diplomatic and political. This has been characterized by the fact that Morocco has sought to oppose the African division, whether at the United Nations or in international forums. In addition, he created a Ministry of African Affairs. Its missions have been entrusted to Dr. El Khatib“.
Elected president of the republic in free elections, Nelson Mandela becomes the first black president of South Africa and has not forgotten Morocco’s support and help in liberating his country. Nostalgia and memories of his stay in Morocco during his fight against the apartheid regime led him to make 4 visits, the first of which dates back to April 1962.
Luis Jose De Almeida, former Angolan Ambassador to Morocco: ” Morocco has helped us a lot. I was one of the students of the Casablanca Conference which brought together the liberation movements supported by the late Mohammed V and later by his son, the late Hassan II. They gave us all the material, financial support, including the headquarters behind the Balima hotel.“.
Maria Eugénia Neto, widow of Agostino Neto, former President of the Republic of Angola:” My husband went to join them in Cape Verde. He was arrested and sent back to Portugal. The police came under a lot of pressure to release them and we fled to Morocco. He had the support of Morocco. And besides, there were young people there who were being trained in guerrilla warfare“.
Artur Da Silva Jùlio, director of the Center for Documentation and Historical Investigation of the MPLA: ” Morocco was one of the countries that provided multifaceted assistance to the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). During his escape from Portugal, President Agostino Neto and his family were welcomed in Morocco.
Joël Mauricio das neves Tembe, director of the Historical Archives of Mozambique: ” He there is no doubt that North Africa, and especially Morocco, was a safe place for the fighters against Portuguese colonial fascism. Morocco has supported the Mozambican Liberation Movement in several ways”.
Manuel Pereira Silva, director of the Center for Strategic Policies in Cape Verde: ” Morocco is one of the few countries that helped us. It is thanks to the military aid that Morocco granted us, to the training of the militants of the party of the combatants, but also to the financial and logistical aid“.
Support that lasts
On January 31, 2017, King Mohammed VI made a triumphal entry into the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa during the 28th Summit. Thirty-two years after having slammed the door of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Morocco is rejoining the pan-African body.
That day, King Mohammed VI delivered a historic speech that will forever be etched in the memory and history of Africa: “ It’s beautiful the day you come home after too long an absence! It is beautiful, the day when one carries one’s heart towards the beloved hearth! Africa is my Continent, and my home. I finally go home, and find you with happiness. I have missed you all“.
” Some argue that, through this commitment, Morocco would aim to acquire leadership in Africa. I answer them that it is to Africa that the Kingdom seeks to give leadership“, had supported the Sovereign.