Tiznit itself was used as a base by El Hiba, the ruler of Smara in the Western Sahara, who declared himself sultan of Morocco here in 1912 after learning of Moulay Hafid’s surrender to the French under the Treaty of Fez. El Hiba (also known as Ma el Aïnin) was known as the Blue Sultan on account of his blue desert robes. El Hiba led a considerable force of Berbers to Marrakesh, which acknowledged his authority, before advancing on Fez in the spring of 1913. Here his forces were defeated, but El Hiba continued his resistance. Basing himself at Taroudant, and then in the Anti-Atlas mountains, he fought on until his death, near Tafraoute, in 1919. Despite his defeat, the Berbers of the Anti-Atlas mountains still remained outside of French control, and only suffered their first true occupation with the bitter French “pacification” of the early 1930s.

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