In Morocco, every 6 November is “Green March Day”, a day commemorating the assertion of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara.
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Western Sahara, a vast tract of desert on the extreme western coast of Africa, had long been claimed by both Morocco and Mauritania. The International Court of Justice tried to resolve this border dispute but failed to do so. At that point, Moroccan King Hassan II called upon his people to gather in the Moroccan town of Tarfaya.
Around 350,000 people showed up in Tarfaya on 6 November, 1975, for the “rally“. They were not armed, but they instead carried green banners to symbolise Islam, Korans, and pictures of King Hassan II.
The people put on a demonstration and then crossed the border in Western Sahara, beginning the occupation that continues to the present day. Green March Day is controversial internationally, but it is popular and considered patriotic in Morocco itself.
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