War Crimes: Moroccans Are Still Suffering The Consequences Of Spain’s Use Of Chemical Weapons In The Rif
The Nigerian daily “Gilmore Health”, highlighted, in a report, the war crimes committed by Spain, along with its allies in the Rif region, during the period from 1921 to 1926, using internationally banned chemical weapons.
The same source explained that the Spanish forces committed several humanitarian crimes during the “Rif War”. These massacres include summary executions of civilians, raping Moroccan prisoners of war, castration and mutilation, the bombing of children and women, and the use chemical weapons.
Gilmore Health stressed that this type of crimes should be strongly condemned, as the use of chemical weapons left the people of northern Morocco suffering, and that the decision to use chemical weapons was motivated by the unfortunate Spanish defeat at the famous Battle of Anoual.
The Spanish army used chloropicrin, mustard gas, diphosgene, and phosgene despite the signing, in 1925, of the Geneva Protocol banning the use of biological and chemical weapons during international conflicts, and this was the first time chemical warfare was used after World War I.
The report pointed out that this war began as a successful Moroccan attempt to repel European colonialism, and in 1912, the “Treaty of Fez” imposed French protection on Morocco, and assigned the northern and southern regions to the Spanish powers, as the Spanish army could not take advantage of this opportunity due to the effects of World War l.
The report also explained that, one hundred years later, the effects of chemical residues in northern Morocco are still strongly present, and among those effects is the spread of cancer among the people of the region.
Meanwhile, Rachid Al Rakha, President of the Amazigh World Assembly, said that “there are strong indicators linking the occurrence of cancers to the gases that the Spaniards used in the war, stressing that there is not a single family here without a victim of cancer, but Spain has not assumed full responsibility for its role in this heinous act.”
The same report indicated that Spain and its allies violated all the rules of war, which led to several decades of negative health consequences. Moreover, the perpetrators were not brought to justice and no one talks about the issue, despite the suffering of the people today from the effects of those wars.