Cape Juby

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Regions of Morocco in colonial times Morocco Protectorate.svg
Regions of Morocco in colonial times

Cape Juby (Arabic : رأس جوبي, trans. Raʾs Juby, Spanish : Cabo Juby) is a cape on the coast of southern Morocco, near the border with Western Sahara, directly east of the Canary Islands.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has over 450 million native speakers in Spain and in the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Both headland and bay are two coastal features that are related and often found on the same coastline. A bay is a body of water—usually seawater and sometimes fresh water— mostly surrounded by land, whereas a headland is surrounded by water on three sides. Headlands are characterized by breaking waves, rocky shores, intense erosion and steep sea cliffs. Bays generally have less wave activity and typically have sandy beaches. Headlands and bays form on discordant coastlines, where the land consists of bands of rock of alternating resistance that run perpendicular to the coast.

Morocco Country in North Africa

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a sovereign state located in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction. The capital is Rabat and the largest city Casablanca. Morocco spans an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi) and has a population of over 35 million.


Its surrounding area, called the Cape Juby Strip or Tarfaya Strip, while making up presently the far south of Morocco, makes up a semi-desert buffer zone between Morocco proper and the Western Sahara. The Strip was under Spanish rule as part of the Spanish protectorate in Morocco during the first half of the 20th century.

Tarfaya Place in Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra, Morocco

Tarfaya is a coastal Moroccan town, located at the level of Cape Juby, in southwestern Morocco, on the Atlantic coast. It is located about 890 km southwest of the capital Rabat, and around 100 km from Laayoune and Lanzarote, in the far east of the Canary Islands. During the colonial era, Tarfaya was a Spanish colony known as Villa Bens. It was unified with Morocco in 1958 after the Ifni War, called the Forgotten War in Spain, which started one year after the independence of other regions of Morocco.

Buffer zone Intermediate region, typically between belligerent entities

A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more areas, but depending on the type of buffer zone, it may serve to separate regions or conjoin them. Common types of buffer zones are demilitarized zones, border zones and certain restrictive easement zones and green belts. Such zones may be, but not necessarily, comprised by a sovereign state, forming a buffer state.

Spanish protectorate in Morocco protectorate of Spain

The Spanish protectorate in Morocco was established on 27 November 1912 by a treaty between France and Spain that converted the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco into a formal protectorate.

Modern history

Precolonial era

On May 28, 1767, Mohammed ben Abdallah, the Sultan of Morocco, signed a peace and commerce treaty with King Charles III of Spain. In the treaty, Morocco was unable to guarantee the security of Spanish fishermen along the coasts south of the Noun River, as Morocco did not have control over the Tekna tribes of that area (Art. 18). [1] [2]

Mohammed Ben Abdellah al-Khatib was Sultan of Morocco from 1757 to 1790 under the Alaouite dynasty. He was the governor of Marrakech around 1750. He was also sultan briefly during 1748.

Charles III of Spain King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788

Charles III was King of Spain (1759–1788), after ruling Naples as Charles VII and Sicily as Charles V (1734–1759). He was the fifth son of Philip V of Spain, and the eldest son of Philip's second wife, Elisabeth Farnese. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he succeeded to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, upon the death of his half-brother Ferdinand VI, who left no heirs.

Noun River (Morocco) river in Morocco

The Noun River or Wad Noun is a river in Morocco and the southernmost permanent watercourse in the country. It is located 70 km north of the Draa River and flows southwest originating in the Anti-Atlas, passing south of Guelmim and meeting the Atlantic Ocean at Foum Asaca in the region of Sbouya.

On March 1, 1799, Sultan Slime signed an accord with King Charles IV of Spain, in which he recognized that the Saguia el Hamra and Cape Juby regions were not part of his dominions (Art. 22). [1] [2]

Mulay Slimane or Suleiman was the Sultan of Morocco from 1792 to 1822. Suleiman was one of five sons of Mohammed III who fought a civil war for control of the kingdom. Slimane emerged victorious in 1795, and the country remained largely passive for the subsequent decades of his rule. He was a member of the Arab Alaouite dynasty.

Charles IV of Spain King of Spain

Charles IV was King of Spain from 14 December 1788, until his abdication on 19 March 1808.

In 1879, the British North West Africa Company established a trading post near Cape Juby called "Port Victoria". On March 26, 1888, Moroccan soldiers attacked the post, killing the director of the post and leaving two workers badly injured. [3] In 1895, the company sold its post to the Sultan of Morocco.

Spanish protectorate

In 1912, Spain negotiated with France (which controlled the affairs of Morocco at the time) for concessions on the southern coast of Morocco.[ citation needed ] Francisco Bens officially occupied the Cape Juby region for Spain on July 29, 1916. It was administered by Spain as a single entity with Spanish Sahara and the Ifni enclave, as Spanish West Africa.

France Republic with majority of territory in Europe and numerous oversea territories around the world

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Spanish Sahara Former Spanish territory of Western Sahara

Spanish Sahara, officially the Province of the Sahara, was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was occupied and ruled by Spain between 1884 and 1975. It had been one of the most recent acquisitions of the Spanish Empire as well as one of its last remaining holdings, which had once extended from the Americas to the Philippines and East Asia.

The Spanish area comprised 12,700 sq mi (33,000 km2) and had a population of 9,836.[ citation needed ] Its main town was founded by the Spanish as Villa Bens (now called Tarfaya). Villa Bens was used as a staging post for airmail flights.

Retrocession to Morocco

When Morocco became independent in 1956, it requested the cession of Moroccan areas controlled by Spain. After some resistance and some fighting during 1957 (the Ifni War), the Spanish government in 1958 ceded the Cape Juby Strip to Morocco.

Sahara sea

In 1877, the Scottish engineer Donald Mackenzie was the first to propose the creation of a Sahara Sea. Mackenzie's idea was to cut a channel from one of the sand-barred lagoons north of Cape Juby south to a large plain which Arab traders had identified to him as El Djouf. [4] [5] Mackenzie believed this vast region was up to 61 metres (200 ft) below sea level and that flooding it would create an inland sea of 155,400 square kilometres (60,000 sq mi) suited to commercial navigation and even agriculture. He further believed that geological evidence suggested this basin had once been connected to the Atlantic via a channel near the Saguia el-Hamra. He proposed that this inland sea, if augmented with a canal, could provide access to the Niger River and the markets and rich resources of West Africa. [5] There are several small depressions in the vicinity of Cape Juby; at 55 m below sea level, the Sebkha Tah [6] [ circular reference ] is the lowest and largest. But it covers less than 250 km² and is 500 km north of the geographical area identified as El Djouf (also known as the Majabat al-Koubra [7] ) which has an average elevation of 320 m. Mackenzie never travelled in this area but had read of other sub-sea level desert basins in present-day Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt similar to those found near Cape Juby. [5] These basins contain seasonally dry salt lakes, known as chotts or sebkhas. Egypt's Qattara Depression is perhaps the largest such basin in North Africa.

See also

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Ifni was a Spanish province on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, south of Agadir and across from the Canary Islands.

Postage stamps and postal history of Cape Juby

Cape Juby is a cape on the coast of southern Morocco, near its border with Western Sahara, directly east of the Canary Islands.

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Tekna ethnic group

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Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra Region

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Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic–Spain relations Diplomatic relations between Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Spain

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The Treaty of Angra de Cintra, signed by Spain and Morocco on 1 April 1958, ended the Spanish protectorate in Morocco and helped end the Ifni War.


  1. 1 2 Pedro Giménez de Aragón Sierra. "Proyecto Ibn Jaldun. VII. El colonialismo español en el s. XIX: África. 2. Chafarinas, Sidi Ifni y el Sáhara" (in Spanish). Junta de Andalucía . Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  2. 1 2 Cesáreo Fernández Duro (08-09-1877). "Cautivos españoles en Cabo Blanco" (PDF) (in Spanish). La Ilustración Española y Americana nº XXXIII. p. 156. Retrieved 2010-06-16.Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. José Fernández Bromón (1888-05-15). "Sucesos de Marruecos" (PDF) (in Spanish). La Ilustración Española y Americana nº XVIII. p. 307. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
  4. Cust, R. (1884). "The railway over the Sahára from Algeria to the Senegál and the destruction of Colonel Flatters". Journal of the Royal United Service Institution. Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies. 28 (77): 839–856. doi:10.1080/03071848409424351 . Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 Mackenzie, Donald (1877). The flooding of the Sahara: an account of the proposed plan for opening Central Africa to commerce and civilization from the north-west coast, with a description of Soudan and western Sahara, and notes of ancient manuscripts, &c. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  6. fr:Sebkha Tah
  7. "El Djouf desert, Mauritania".

Coordinates: 27°56′52″N12°55′24″W / 27.94778°N 12.92333°W / 27.94778; -12.92333