Ceuta is a Spanish enclave located in North Africa, bordered by Morocco and lies at the endof a narrow isthmus.
It is governed as part of Cadiz province in Spain.Both Ceuta and Melilla have a long history. Both cities date their original establishmentto the sailors and merchants of the ancient Mediterranean, and the Phoenicians. Years later,Ceuta became the site of a Carthaginian settlement, which eventually, was taken over by theRomans. The city was then captured by the Vandals, who at some point lost it to theByzantium during the 5th century. As the years passed, Ceuta had been ruled by theVisigoths, Arabs, Portuguese, until the Spanish seized control in 1580.
Since then, Ceuta hasremained a jurisdiction of Spain, except for a time period from 1694 to 1720 when the Moorsgained 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 fortifiedmilitary settlements that Portugal and Spain conquered on the North African coast in the 15th and16th centuries to fight piracy. Both cities predate African colonization by European powers and theSpanish protectorate over Northern Morocco. This protectorate was ended in 1956 after Moroccosuccessfully fought a war of independence against France. Surely, most of Morocco was under theFrench protectorate, so when it was terminated, Spain had no influence or real power to continue itsown protectorate.After Morocco gained independence, it laid claim against the Spanish possessions thatincluded Ceuta, Melilla and dependent positions such as the Penon de Velez de la Gomera, PenonThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23rd– 28th of January 2011Page 2 of 10 | Research Reportde 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 ofSpain.
Spain claims these territories on historical grounds: right of success and terra nulliusprinciples; longevity of occupation; national security and the UN territorial integrity of the stateprinciple. Spain emphasizes that most of the inhabitants there are Spanish nationals and wish tostay under Spanish rule. Additionally, treaties were signed by Morocco and Spain in connection tothe Sovereign Territories. Morocco contends that the UN standards of decolonization must beimplemented because the Spanish occupation blocks the financial and political autonomy of thekingdom as the Spanish bases debilitate Moroccan national security.Definition of Key TermsCeutaIs a peninsula which narrows to an isthmus before broadening into theAlmina peninsula which is a military zone; the civilian settlement is concentrated onThe isthmus and western part of the peninsula. There are 20 km of sea coast and 8 km ofland boundaries.MelillaA territory that was conquered by Spainin 1497. Because of its location on theMediterranean coast and offering access to theRif mountain region, it had to be defended fromattack by land and sea.
Until the 19th century,one of its major roles was that of a penal colonythen it became a free-port in 1902 and animportant military base.Dhahran Ahliyya Schools Model United Nations 2017 | 24th– 25st of February 2017Research Report | Page 3 of 10Sovereign territoriesThe supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state isgoverned and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of astate, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.ProtectorateA state that is controlled and protected by another.Terra Nullius PrincipleIs a Latin expression meaning “nobody’s land”, and is a principle sometimes used ininternational law to describe territory that may be acquired by a state’s occupation of it.UN standards of decolonizationIn 1990, the General Assembly proclaimed the first International Decade for the Eradicationof Colonialism, including a specific plan of action.
Background InformationSpanish colonizationAfter being colonized time and time again by the Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans,Ceuta and Melilla became independent under the Byzantine ruler Count Julian. They containedcommercial 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 theoutbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936), Gen. Francisco Franco dispatched an expedition to Spainfrom Ceuta.
In 1995 the Spanish government approved statutes of autonomy for Ceuta, replacingthe city council with an assembly similar to those of Spain’s other autonomous communities.Moroccan independenceBefore the arrival of the Arabs, Morocco was inhabited by Berbers who were ruled byThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23rd– 28th of January 2011Page 4 of 10 | Research ReportRome. In 681, the Arabs brought with them a new language and a new religion, Islam. The Muslimtroops believed that there was no more land to conquer beyond Morocco’s Atlantic coast, so theystarted to spread Islam throughout the Sub- Saharan Africa and Europe. However, under theleadership of Tarik Ibn Ziyad, Muslims crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and conquered Spain andPortugal. They were stopped in the south of France in a city called Poitier.
Moulay Idriss created the Idriss Dynasty and the first Muslim State in the west during theyear 788. Since then, the country has been ruled by several other dynasties such as TheAlmoravids, The Almohads, The Merinides, and the Saadians. In 1660, the Alaouite Dynastysucceeded in keeping out invaders. As a result, many coastal cities like Tangier, El Jadida, andEssaouira were occupied by European powers, mainly Spain and Portugal.
Spain occupied the North and the South of Morocco, while it was under the Frenchprotectorate in 1912. After World War I, Tangier became an International Zone that was occupied byover 20 Western countries.In 1956, Morocco finally gained its Independence.
In 1975, The Saharan provinces returnedto Morocco after the “Green March” under the Spanish control. In spite of the independence ofMorocco, the two cities Ceuta and Melilla in Northern Morocco are still administered by Spain.Major Countries and Organizations InvolvedMoroccoMorocco argues that Ceuta and are remnants of Spain’s colonial past and should be cededto Morocco. Most of the Moroccan arguments rely on the similarities between Ceuta, Melilla, andGibraltar. The argument that they hold is that the Spanish claim to Gibraltar is similar to theMoroccan claim to Ceuta and Melilla.CeutaIt is a Spanish exclave, military post, and free port on the coast of Morocco. Even though itis touching the borders of Morocco, Ceuta is considered an autonomous country managed bySpanish authorities.
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools Model United Nations 2017 | 24th– 25st of February 2017Research Report | Page 5 of 10SpainThe Spanish authorities claim to the two territories of Ceuta and Melilla go back to 1497.Spain believes that Ceuta and Melilla should be under their rule as most of the citizens wish for it tobe that way. The Spanish authorities believe that the Moroccan government will not be able tomaintain the infrastructure and services that Ceuta and Melilla require.UNHCRNHCR has expressed concerns to the Spanish authorities about the extremely poorconditions in which refugees are living in. they have urged the government to utilize more resourcesto improve the situation. They believe that conditions fall well short of the minimum standardsrequired by the recent EU directive on reception standards, which must be transferred into Spanishlaw.Timeline of EventsDate Description of eventOctober 22, 1849 Higher Spanish classes, France and the UK support the war declaration onthe north African nation1884 Spain colonizes the region now known as Western Sahara.June 30, 1958 Morocco and Spain sign the Treaty of Angra de Cintra.
1859 Spain defeats the Moroccan army in the Tetouan war.January 1, 1860 Battle of Castillejos took place and earned Spain a victoryFebruary 6, 1860 End of the Battle of TetouanMarch 23, 1860 Spain claims victory in the Wad-Ras battleThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23rd– 28th of January 2011Page 6 of 10 | Research ReportMarch 30, 1912 Morocco’s Sultan Abdelhafid signs the Fez Treaty with France, allowing theFrench army to make Morocco a protectorate.1934 Western Sahara becomes a Spanish province and becomes known asSpanish Sahara.October, 1974 Morocco asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to decide its claims ofsovereignty over Spanish Sahara.
November 14, 1975 Morocco and Spain sign the Tripartite Agreement2001 UN Envoy James Baker presents Baker Plan I2003 Baker updates the first version of his plan, coming up with Baker Plan IIApril 23, 2004 Morocco rejects Baker Plan IIRelevant UN Treaties and EventsLatest Treaties signed by Spain and Morocco? Treaty of Utrecht, 1713? Treaty of Marrakesh, 1767? Hispano-Moroccan Treaty, 1799? Treaty of Tangier, October 1844.? Treaty of Wad-Ras, 26 April 1860? Spanish Protectorate in Morocco, 27 November 1912Dhahran Ahliyya Schools Model United Nations 2017 | 24th– 25st of February 2017Research Report | Page 7 of 10? Treaty of Angra de Cintra, 30 June 1958? Treaty of Fez, 30 June 1969Latest Resolutions signed by Security Council? 16 December 1965 (2072)? 13 December 1974 (3292)? 22 October 1975 (377)? 10 December 1975 ( 3458)? 29 April 1991 (690)? 30 April 2007 (1754)? 31 October 2007 (1783)? 26 April 2016 (2285)? 28 April 2017 (2351)Previous Attempts to solve the IssueSpain and Morocco have tried several tactics to solve this issue; for instance, they havebeen working together to regulate the extensive amount of migrants entering Spain yearly. Ceutaand Melilla are the most important points of controlling immigration into Spain.
Since the late 1990s,the European Union (EU) has spent millions of dollars to support the control of the borders aroundCeuta and Melilla, while paying Morocco for helping them protect the border and funding a highfence around the towns.Resolutions continue to be written frequently but are not implemented in these twoThe Hague International Model United Nations 2011 | 23rd– 28th of January 2011Page 8 of 10 | Research Reportcountries. Neither Morocco nor Spain have asked the UN for assistance to solve this issue and itdoesn’t seem like the UN is focusing much on intervening to support them.Possible SolutionsThere is only one logical way of peacefully solving this issue, which would be byencouraging Spain and Morocco to resort to the UN and ask them to support them in this issue.Neither one of these countries have asked the UN for assistance, even though they are in need of it.After the many treaties that have been signed with no evident change, this seems to be the onlyrational and sensible way to move forward in solving this issue.