Biography of Abd el-Krim (1882-1963)

Moroccan politician, leader of the independence movement against Franco-Spanish dominance over Morocco, founder and President of the ephemeral Republic of the Rif (1921-1926). Real name Abd el-Krim ibn Muhammad el-Jatabi, was born in the year 1882, Ajdir-IDA-Yusef, town in the region of the Tafersit (Morocco), and died on 7 February of the year 1963, in Cairo (Egypt).

Rifan blooded, belonging to the Berber tribe of the Beni Urriaguel, Abd el - Krim was the son of one of the most prominent cadis of his tribe. Until the date of their uprising, was for many years in the service of Spain, with the absolute confidence of the Spanish authorities which was then administered part of the current Morocco protectorate regimen. Abd el-Krim studied superior in Tetuan with Spanish tutors, to subsequently move to the University of Fez. He/She later moved to Melilla, where he/she worked as a journalist in Arabic and Indian Secretary for the Office of information policy. In the year 1915, in the middle of the first world war, Abd el-Krim was imprisoned in the prison of Rostrogordo, at the request of the French authorities, accused of working with the service of espionage for Germany. After several escape attempts, Abd el-Krim was released, after 11 months of captivity, then retired to his tribe. In 1917, he/she returned to Melilla, but by refusing to cooperate with the Spanish authorities in the implementation of the protectorate, two years later he/she returned to take refuge with his tribe in the Rif. When his father died, Abd el-Krim became the natural leader of his people and one of the ringleaders more weight within the movement of resistance against foreign domination.

At the beginning of the year 1921, Abd el-Krim decided to put at the forefront of the struggle against the powers colonizing Spain and France and also against the Moroccan sultan, he/she publicly accused of being too accommodating to foreigners. Their uprising resulted in a long war marked by the cruelty of Abd el-Krim to prisoners and their excessive ambition, which ended up losing. After getting the support of almost all of the rifian Kabyles, the troops of Abd el-Krim attacked French possessions in the South and the Spanish in the North, inflict continuous defeats to both armies. Unsuccessful talks between rifan leader and the Spanish general Fernández Silvestre, this first led his fevered troops up to the very gates of Melilla. His decisive victory at the battle of Annual, on 23 July of the year 1921, exalted him atop his glorious military and politics, winning is definitely the accession of all Moroccans and especially his private army, which went to worship him and to follow blindly. Taking advantage of his good star, that same year Abd el-Krim announced the creation of the Republic of the Rif, which declared independence from the Kingdom of Morocco.

Given the turn that they had taken the events, with Abd el-Krim as owner and absolute arbiter of all the Rif, the Spanish greater State of war began to worry and to take on the issue, at the same time seeking with longing French collaboration to tackle the Moroccan crisis. This came when, in April of the year 1925, Abd el-Krim, who wanted to expand their field of operations, resumed attacks on the French positions to the South of the country, attitude that resulted in the logical approach of both powers. The Franco-Spanish partnership culminated with the disembarkation of Alhucemas, September 8 1925, where about 40 ships under the command of Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, by French, and general Sanjurjo, by the Spanish, managed to halt the advances of the rifan leader and begin to change the course of the war. Abd el-Krim, quite cornered by the Franco-Spanish joint offensive, tried to negotiate at the Uxda Conference, in December of the same year; It offered both countries a peace treaty whose leonine conditions were rejected drawing both Madrid and Paris. Faced with the impossibility of reaching an agreement, Abd el-Krim increased its cruelties with Spanish and French prisoners protects all officers. The taking of the city of Ajdir, headquarters of Abd el-Krim, by the troops of the French Marshal, precipitated the fall of the rifan leader. When everything did foresee that he/she would be captured by the Spaniards, on 22 May of the year 1926 Abd el-Krim decided to surrender to the French authorities after send kill all Spanish prisoners.

According to discussions between France and Spain, began on June 14, Abd el-Krim was sentenced to banishment guarded on the island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean, against Madagascar. In the course of the second world war, his son was taken to Germany by a fleet commanded by the nazi Admiral Canaris. The political project of Hitler to the westernmost area of North Africa passed by resuscitating the dying Republic of the Rif, with borders of greater scope, subject to the guidelines of the Third Reich and thus have an excellent base of operations to control the South of Europe and halt the advance of the allies, which sought to land a huge number of troops by several areas of the Moroccan Atlantic coast.

In 1947, Abd el-Krim was authorized unilaterally by the French authorities to move to the French Riviera for health reasons. But when the ship carrying him passed through Egypt, this took an oversight to flee and seek asylum to King Farouk of Egypt, who granted it gladly. From that very moment, and until his death, Abd el-Krim became a distinguished guest and one of the most prominent supporters of the independence movement that shook all over North Africa after the end of the second world war, always from extremist positions, attitude which led him in many moments to deal harshly with the Government of Morocco.

Retired from active politics in 1952, six years later the Moroccan King Muhammad V named him a "national hero" and suggested the possibility of return to Morocco with total freedom, offering declined on several occasions. After his death in Cairo, in 1963, the new Moroccan King Hassán II allowed his remains reposaran in his native region.


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