French Rout Rebel Forces In Morocco
In 1911 Sultan Abde Hafid of Morocco was besieged by rebels in Fez. He is pressured by France and members of the French pro-colonial lobby to ask for French troops to protect the country. In May 1911 French troops arrive in Morocco. This does not sit well with other European powers who fear Morocco will become a French protectorate. Germany threatened to respond with force and sent the gunboat AGADIR to Morocco in July 1911 which alarmed Great Britain. What began as an exercise by Germany intended to drive a wedge between France and England results in increasing British fear and hostility towards Germany and to draw Britain closer to France. Negotiation started between France and Germany to cool down the situation diplomatically. In November1911 the Second Moroccan Crisis ended with the signing of a Franco-German peace treaty. This ends Germany’s threat to go to war over Morocco and Germany withdrew all claims to North Africa. Morocco was partitioned between France (as a protectorate) and Spain (as the colony the Spanish Sahara).
Ahmed al-Hiba is the son of a religious leader in the Sahara and leads a general uprising in the south Morocco. Al-Hiba is proclaimed Sultan in Taroudant, Agadir and the Dades and Draa regions. With his tribal army he entered Marrakesh in August 1912 and was proclaimed Sultan there also.
On September 6, 1912 5,000 French troops crushed an uprising of 10,000 Moroccan troops in the south of Morocco. Ahmed al-Hiba, had imprisoned French military officers and the French Consul in Marrakesh. He promised that “French bullets would turn into water and French shells into watermelons.” Within two hours, 2,000 Moroccan tribesmen lay dead and thousands more were wounded while others fled through the other side of the city. 4 French soldiers died and 23 were wounded.