Green March: Flashback to the glorious epic with Seddik Maâninou

The 47th anniversary of the Green March is an opportunity to remind Moroccans of an event that is a source of pride when 350,000 volunteers crossed from the north to the south of the Kingdom, crossing the borders established by the Spanish settlers in order to recover the Sahara, a territory under the natural sovereignty of Morocco. A few months later, on February 28, 1976, on the roof of the province of Laayoune, “the Spaniards recovered their flag and the Moroccans hoisted theirs”.

The Kingdom is celebrating this Sunday, November 6, the 47th anniversary of an epic popular demonstration that brought together thousands of Moroccans from all regions to peacefully defend the territorial integrity of their country, responding to the historic call of the late King Hassan II.

On this occasion, the Moroccan journalist and writer, mohamed seddik Maâninou, shares with MoroccoLatestNews his testimony and his experience by remembering the unprecedented epic of a march that opened the doors to a new era in Morocco.

I must tell you that today is November 6, 2022 and that 47 years ago, to the day, His Majesty King Hassan II gave the order at 10.30 a.m. to Mr. Ahmed Osman, who was his Prime Minister, to cross the borders imposed by Spanish colonialism. And it’s like this morning at 10:33 that we crossed the borders. I was a young journalist aged 30, not even, I was with my Moroccan television team to film the start of the march of these 350,000 volunteers, including 35,000 Moroccan women.“, he details with precision.

I do not hide from you that at this moment I feel very moved since this march was a great popular demonstration and a great challenge launched by King Hassan II in order to push the Spaniards to sit down with us around a table, to negotiate and to leave the Sahara. There was not only Moroccan television but there were between 400 and 450 journalists, two thirds of whom were foreigners. All the major television stations in the world were in Tah and these journalists crossed borders with us. We walked for almost 4 hours to cross about twenty kilometers“, indicates our interlocutor.

mohamed seddik Maâninou remembers that these women and men carrying suitcases, bags and several objects while walking towards the city of Laayoune»continuing only 20 kilometers we stopped, first because we were tired but above all because we found ourselves face to face with a wall of sand behind which the Spanish army was sheltering. We could easily see cars, trucks, tanks and machine guns so we were almost a 34-minute walk to cross this wall».

The writer then clarifies that it is about the situation as I lived 47 years ago on the same day as today and it was not a Sunday, it was a Thursday. I remember that another Thursday, October 16, 1975, the late Hassan II gave a speech from the Royal Palace in Marrakech in which he analyzed the result of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and in which he announced the organization of the Green March. He asked 350,000 Moroccans to volunteer for this march and I can tell you that on Friday evening, October 17, 1975, 950,000 Moroccan men and women registered to be among the 350,000 elected officials who were to participate in the demonstration.».

Maâninou attributes the success of this march to the recovery of the Moroccan Sahara while forcing the Spaniards to negotiate. On November 11, a delegation headed by the Moroccan Prime Minister went to Madrid. I myself was summoned by Mr. Osman to join them in Madrid where I attended the negotiations which ended with the signing of a document in which Spain undertook to withdraw from the Sahara and where she asked the Moroccans to grant her a period of two to three months so that her army, which numbered 75,000 soldiers and thousands of Spaniards, could do sohe reveals.

Ln February 28, 1976, on the roof of the province of Laâyoune, the Spaniards recovered their flag and the Moroccans hoisted theirs and it was the beginning of a new era in the history of Morocco.», recalls the writer.

This Green March represents for mohamed seddik Maâninou, as a journalist and as a Moroccan, a day of pride, I was honored to be able to take part in this popular demonstration and I think that I was privileged when the direction of television had chosen me to carry out the report which remained historic and which moved the Moroccans who watched it in black and white the same evening on television screens».

It’s a source of pride for Moroccans, he continues, since practically every family had at least one parent participating, a father, a mother, a sister, an aunt… We remember that it was a great national demonstration which allowed Morocco to recover its Sahara peacefully. It was a national holiday, a celebration of the recovery of the Sahara. This Green March was a political means of pressure and which was admired all over the world“, he underlines.

I let you imagine that all the television news, the radios, the major daily newspapers in the world opened their newspapers with this Green March. Everyone was wondering if the Spaniards were going to shoot the participants and how the reaction of Morocco and the friends of Morocco was going to be.»adds the journalist, recalling that during the Green March, before crossing this imposed border, there were many delegations from friendly countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, there were even flags of Qatar and an American flag too».

To conclude, our interlocutor who witnessed this epic noted that this march represents an international event and not just a purely local event between Morocco and Spain and so it is a source of pride for all of Morocco since it was a national cause, a national victory».

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