Ifni

Ifni
Province of Spain

1958–1969

Coat of arms

Map showing Ifni as the very small
central red area (click to enlarge).
Capital Sidi Ifni
Governor-General
  19581961 (first) Mariano Gómez Zamalloa y Quirce
  1969 (last) José Rodríguez
History
  Established 12 January 1958
  Returned to Morocco 4 January 1969
Area
  1969 1,502 km2 (580 sq mi)
Population
  1964 51,517 

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

It had a total area of 1,502 km² (580 sq mi), and a population of 51,517 in 1964. The main industry was fishing.

History

Spain's presence in the area can be traced to a settlement called Santa Cruz de la Mar Pequeña, founded in 1476. After attacks by the Berbers, the Spanish decided to focus on colonising other areas of North Africa and abandoned the region.

In the mid-19th century, when the European powers looked again to Africa for resources, Spain suddenly mooted an interest in its lost late medieval fortress in order to stake a claim to the southern part of Morocco. This served as a pretext for a short war with Morocco in 1859.

The territory and its main town of Sidi Ifni were ceded to Spain by the Sultanate of Morocco on 26 April 1860, but there was little interest in this colonial acquisition until 1934, when the Governor-General of Spanish Sahara took up residence.

During Generalissimo Francisco Franco's Francoist State, the colony was made into a Spanish province in order to forestall United Nations criticism of continued colonisation.

After the Ifni War (1957), most of the territory became occupied de facto by Morocco.

Spain formally returned the territory to Morocco on 30 June 1969.[1] The territory was integrated into the Moroccan region of Souss-Massa-Drâa.

Postage stamps

Spain began issuing postage stamps for Ifni in 1941, initially overprinting Spanish stamps with "TERRITORIO DE IFNI", then issuing new designs in 1943. Issues followed at the rate of about ten per year with the last on 23 November 1968. Most are commonly available and are more often seen unused than used.

See also

References

  1. United Nations Yearbook 1969, pp. 661-64.

Coordinates: 29°22′N 10°11′W / 29.367°N 10.183°W / 29.367; -10.183

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