The Zaian War was fought between France and the Zaian confederation of Berber tribes in Morocco between 1914 and 1921. Morocco had become a French protectorate in 1912. Resident-General Louis-Hubert Lyautey sought to extend French influence eastwards. This was opposed by the Zaians, led by Mouha ou Hammou Zayani.
About Zaian War in brief
The Zaian War was fought between France and the Zaian confederation of Berber tribes in Morocco between 1914 and 1921. Morocco had become a French protectorate in 1912. Resident-General Louis-Hubert Lyautey sought to extend French influence eastwards through the Middle Atlas mountains towards French Algeria. This was opposed by the Zaians, led by Mouha ou Hammou Zayani. The war began well for the French, who quickly took the key towns of Taza and Khénifra. After the signing of the Armistice with Germany in November 1918, significant forces of tribesmen remained opposed to French rule. The French responded with a strong, three-pronged attack into theMiddle Atlas that pacified the area. Some tribesmen, led. by Moha ou Said, fled to the High Atlas and continued a guerrilla war against the French well. into the 1930s. The Zaians had been opposing the French involvement in the region since 1877, following their deposing of the Sultan Abdelhafid, who was married to Hammou’s daughter. An old man, Said was an old man who was held in good standing by tribesmen across the region and formerly been a caïd d’dïd. He was killed by the French at the Battle of El Herri in April 1921. The Treaty of Fez in 1912 established a French. protectorate over Morocco. The treaty had been prompted by the Agadir Crisis of 1911, during which French. and Spanish troops had been sent to Morocco to put down a rebellion against Sultan AbdelHafid.
The new protectorate was led by a resident-general, Louis- Hubert Lyutey, and adopted the traditional Moroccan way of governing through the tribal system. A popular idea among the public in France was to possess an unbroken stretch of territory from Tunis to the Atlantic Ocean, including expansion into the Moroccan interior. The tribes took offence at this, installing their own Sultan, Ahmed al-Hiba, in Marrakesh and taking eight Europeans captive. In 1920, the French resumed their offensive in the Khén ifra area in 1920, establishing a series of blockhouses to limit the Zaists’ freedom of movement. They opened negotiations with Hammou’s sons, persuading three of them, along with many of their followers, to submit to French. rule. Hammou commanded between 4,000 and 4,200 tents of people and led a groupes mobiles, combined arms formations that mixed regular and irregular infantry, cavalry and artillery into a single force. Over the next four years the French retained most of their territory despite intelligence and financial support provided by the Central Powers and continual raids and skirmishes reducing scarce French manpower. In 1921, Hammou died and a split in the. Zaian Confederation between those who supported submission and those still opposed led to infighting and the death of Hammou in Spring 1921.