Ceuta is a Spanish enclave situated in North Africa, circumscribed by Morocco and lies toward the finish of a restricted isthmus. It is governed as part of Cadiz province in Spain.
Both Ceuta and Melilla have an extended history. Both cities date their original foundation to the sailors and merchants of the ancient Mediterranean, and the Phoenicians. Years later, Ceuta grew to become the site of a Carthaginian settlement, which eventually, was taken over by the Romans. The city was then captured by the Vandals, who at some point lost it to the Byzantium during the 5th century. As the years passed, Ceuta had been ruled by the Visigoths, Arabs, Portuguese, until the Spanish seized control in 1580. Since then, Ceuta has remained a jurisdiction of Spain, except for a time period from 1694 to 1720 when the Moors gained control.
Ceuta and Melilla have been considered Spanish exclaves for the past five hundred years; however, they have never held colonial status under Spanish law. They were two of the fortified military settlements that Portugal and Spain conquered on the North African coast in the 15th and 16th centuries to fight piracy. Both cities predate African colonization by European powers and the Spanish protectorate over Northern Morocco. This protectorate was ended in 1956 after Morocco successfully fought a war of independence against France. Surely, most of Morocco was under the French protectorate, so when it was terminated, Spain had no influence or real power to continue its own protectorate.
After Morocco gained independence, it laid claim against the Spanish possessions that included Ceuta, Melilla and dependent positions such as the Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon
de Alhucemas and the Chafarinas Islands. These are still under Spanish sovereignty, populated by Spanish nationals and under the Spanish law which makes them an integral part of Spain.
Spain claims these territories on historical grounds: right of success and terra nullius principles; longevity of occupation; national security and the UN territorial integrity of the state principle. Spain emphasizes that most of the inhabitants there are Spanish nationals and wish to stay under Spanish rule. Additionally, treaties were signed by Morocco and Spain in connection to the Sovereign Territories. Morocco contends that the UN standards of decolonization must be implemented because the Spanish occupation blocks the financial and political autonomy of the kingdom as the Spanish bases debilitate Moroccan national security.
Definition of Key Terms
Is a peninsula which narrows to an isthmus before broadening into the
Almina peninsula which is a military zone; the civilian settlement is concentrated on
The isthmus and western part of the peninsula. There are 20 km of sea coast and 8 km of
A territory that was conquered by Spain in 1497. Because of its location on the Mediterranean coast and offering access to the Rif mountain region, it had to be defended from attack by land and sea. Until the 19th century, one of its major roles was that of a penal colony then it became a free-port in 1902 and an important military base.
An independent state that is governed by an absolute and uncontrollable power and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.
A state that is controlled and protected by another.
Terra Nullius Principle
It is derived from a Latin expression meaning “nobody’s land”. It is a principle that is sometimes used in international law to describe territory that may be acquired by a state’s occupation of it.
UN standards of decolonization
The General Assembly declared the first International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism in 1990 that included a specific plan of action.
After being colonized time and time again by the Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans, Ceuta and Melilla became independent under the Byzantine ruler Count Julian. They contained commercial importance such as gold and ivory, and so, they were always disputed upon until 1415, when Portugal gained control. The port passed to Spain in 1580 the Treaty of Lisbon in 1688. At the breakout of the Spanish Civil War that took place in 1936, Gen. Francisco Franco executed an expedition from Ceuta to Spain. In 1995 the Spanish government endorsed statutes of self-rule for Ceuta, supplanting the city council with an assembly like those of Spain’s different independent communities
Morocco was occupied by Berbers who were led by Rome before the arrival of the Arabs. In 681, the Arabs carried with them another dialect and another religion, Islam. The Muslim troops trusted that there was no more land to overcome past Morocco’s Atlantic drift, so they began to spread Islam all through Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Be that as it may, under the authority of Tarik Ibn Ziyad, Muslims crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and vanquished Spain and Portugal. They were halted in the south of France in a city called Poitier.
Moulay Idriss made the Idriss Dynasty and the principal Muslim State in the west amid the year 788. From that point forward, the nation has been managed by a few different dynasties, for example, The Almoravids, The Almohads, The Merinides, and the Saadians. In 1660, the Alaouite Dynasty prevailed with regards to keeping out intruders. Therefore, numerous beachfront urban communities like Tangier, El Jadida, and Essaouira were possessed by European forces, mainly Spain and Portugal.
Spain possessed the North and the South of Morocco, while it was under the French protectorate in 1912. After World War I, Tangier turned into an International Zone that was possessed by more than 20 Western nations.
In 1956, Morocco finally gained its Independence. In 1975, The Saharan provinces returned to Morocco after the “Green March” under the Spanish control. In spite of the independence of Morocco, the two cities Ceuta and Melilla in Northern Morocco are still administered by Spain.