The Moroccan people are celebrating, this Friday, November 18, one of the major events in their contemporary history, Independence Day, of which it is the sixty-seventh anniversary.
Also, on this prestigious occasion, it is quite appropriate to recall the historical context of this great epic whose outcome was not easy, but rather the fruit of a great sacrifice and a struggle uninterrupted whose detonator was without context the Revolution of the King and the People, on August 20, 1953.
This November 18, 2023 also offers us the opportunity to revisit our contemporary history, of which this historic turning point was undoubtedly a continuous fight for the construction of a modern and democratic Morocco.
If the first milestones of the independence of the Kingdom of Morocco were put in place by Mohammed V, Morocco experienced those of construction under the reign of the late Hassan II and today, it is clear that it is a new Morocco which is being built by King Mohammed VI, that of freedom, democracy, human rights, social justice and citizenship.
Achievements whose starting point was given by the liberation from the yoke of colonialism of France and the establishment of the first references of independent Morocco. The latter are combined by liberal and progressive nature, values of pluralism and democracy, openness and tolerance, as well as by solidarity with just causes and its firm commitment in their favour.
For history, in Morocco the popular uprising that followed the exile of the Sovereign, Mohammed V in Madagascar in 1953 was such that it forced the French government to put an end to the Protectorate treaty and to grant full sovereignty to the Morocco. Thus, after he had entered into negotiations in Antsirabé (the third largest city in Madagascar), with the late Mohammed V through the intermediary of General Catroux, Antoine Pinay, President of the French Council at the time, the France announced, to this effect, that it intendedgive Morocco the face of a modern, democratic and sovereign state“. We will only remember that for the good cause, because in truth France has given us nothing.
Still, this “face of a modern state”, it will be Mohammed V who will embody it by conferring it. He swept away the turpitudes of all the colonialists and their associates who had leagued against him during the conspiracy of August 20, 1953. After the negotiations at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and in particular the meeting of November 6 having reunited the late Mohammed V with Antoine Pinay, the liberation of Morocco was achieved and the Sovereign could return to the Kingdom.
The return of the late Mohammed V took place on November 16, 1955. There followed three days of intense jubilation and unspeakable fervor throughout the country. On November 18, 1955, Throne Day (Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef, who had been enthroned on November 18, 1927) therefore celebrated Friday prayers at the Hassan mosque in Rabat and delivered the Speech from the Throne there where he officially proclaimed the independence of Morocco through this sentence which will remain anchored in the legend and the history of contemporary Morocco: “We are delighted to be able to announce the end of the tutelage regime and the Protectorate and the advent of freedom and independence.“.
The late Mohammed V set the stage for another fight, that of development, national unity, the establishment of democratic institutions and the completion of our territorial integrity. The commitment now applied to building a State, rooting it in its ancestral values of Islam, freedom, progress, solidarity with peoples, democracy and pluralism.
This first speech of independence delivered by the late Sovereign in front of a jubilant people thus committed the entire Nation to an effort to build a free, modern and democratic Morocco for the emergence of which, many resistance fighters and members of the Liberation Army had made the ultimate sacrifice. It is this holiday that the Moroccan people celebrate this Friday, with joy and pride. It is characterized by values of nationalism, citizenship, commitment, fidelity, honesty and sacrifice.
Considered a milestone in the Kingdom’s contemporary history, the “Independence Day”, celebrated every November 18, commemorates the illustrious speech of the Father of the Nation, the late King Mohammed V, announcing the end of the protectorate and the liberation of the Fatherland from the yoke of colonialism. We are therefore celebrating this symbolic day, to corroborate our conviction and our support for the efforts made to preserve the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and to consolidate its unique position as a country that provides peace and stability.
In addition, Independence Day is an opportunity to pay a vibrant tribute to the father of the Nation, the late Mohammed V, who knew how to lead the Kingdom towards a new era marked by the victory of law over injustice and dignity over enslavement. Our independence was won after a long and bitter struggle, during which martyrs fell on the field of honor and heavy sacrifices were made by all popular strata, those who lived through it or inherited it .