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The Moroccan Armed Forces 1956 – 2019 (1/6)

Moroccan Army soldiers parade during celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces. (AP File Photo) 2006

The Moroccan army, Forces Armées Royales, abbreviated as (FAR), was founded on 14th of May 1956. This was after the dissolution of the French protectorate in Morocco, which lasted from 1912 to 1956. When it was founded, the ‘new’ army consisted of 30,000 people: more than 14,000 people, including 200 officers, from the French army, 10,000 from the Spanish army and about 5,000 from the resistance movement Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) (1).

The new officers of this army received accelerated training in the schools of the occupiers, Spain and France. The Stakeholders of the FAR were General Mohamed Mezian (1897-1975) who served in the Spanish army and Kettani Ben Hammou (1910 – 1965) who served in the French army: both officers reached the rank of general in the Spanish and French army respectively during the occupation of Morocco.

Moroccan soldiers in the French army have fought against compatriots and neighbors such as Algerians and also fought under French flag in Vietnam.

Most of the Riffians in the occupying army have fought on the side of dictator Franco in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. Before that they fought against their own Rif population in the Rif-war (1911-1927). They served mainly in the Spanish infantry units called the Regulares and the Spanish Foreign Legion La Legión Española.

The Moroccan armed forces consists of the army, the air force and the navy. The latter was founded in 1960. The gendarmerie and the Royal Guard are officially part of the army.

(1) ALN is a resistance movement that sought the decolonization of North Africa, it was founded in the Rif in 1954.

Source: Amazigh Informatie Centrum

Translated by: Najat M.

To be continued


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