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Flag of SpainSpanish North Africa /
Arabic: malūliyya

Modern port of Melilla, Spanish North Africa.
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Modern port of Melilla.

Quiet streets of Medina Sidonia, Melilla, Spanish North Africa.
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Quiet streets of Medina Sidonia.

Charming house facade of Melilla, Spanish North Africa (perspective is adjusted).
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Charming house facade (perspective is adjusted).

Protective rocks of Melilla, Spanish North Africa.
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Protective rocks.

Travel information from
LookLex / Morocco
The strange feeling
Medina Sidonia
Happy houses
Iglesia del Segrada Corazon
Plaza de España
Parque Hernandez
Town beach
Leaving Africa

City in Spanish North Africa with 59,576 inhabitants (May 1, 1996), of which there are 20,800 Moroccans and 1,300 Jews. Melilla is part of Málaga Province.
Melilla is an enclave with an area of 12,5 km² in mainland Morocco.
Melilla is governed through a 25 seat local council with 6 parties, of which Groupo Independiente Liberal is the largest with 7 seats. Mayor of Melilla is Mustafa Aberchán Hamed.
The economic base for Melilla are the military base, tax free trade, fuel supplies to passing ships, small scale industries, fishing (mainly sardines and anchovies), as well as different forms of smuggling.
Through the 1990's Melilla has gone from being about 15% below the rest of Spain in buying power, to be about 7% above in the latter half. However, unofficial reports rate Melilla as the poorest city in Spain. Unemployment rates in Ceuta and Melilla together is 11,4% (August 1999).
Melilla has 5 local newspapers and 6 radio stations.
Melilla has ferry services to Málaga and Almeriá on the European side of the Gibraltar Strait. The local airport has daily flights to different destinations in mainland Spain.

1497: Melilla is conquered by the ducal house of Midina Sidonia, with the blessings of the Spanish crown.
1556: Spain takes formal control over Melilla.
1562: Attacked by tribesmen from the Rif mountains, and put under siege for 3 years.
1687: First of 3 attacks performed by Sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco. The other two came in 1696 and 1697.
1771: Besiege of Melilla by Sultan Muhammadu bni Abdallah.
1774: Another besiege of Melilla by Sultan Muhammadu bni Abdallah.
1780: Agreement of Aranjuez between the Moroccan Sultan and the Spanish king, which makes Morocco accept the existence of Melilla, however on a smaller territory than before.
1860: Territory of Melilla is extended after a Spanish military campaign in Morocco.
1893-4: War of Melilla, following a conflict between Melilla and tribesmen of the Rif mountains.
1909: The Spanish takes control over Melilla's hinterland, with the areas of Oued Kert and Oued Molouya.
1926: Attack by Rif tribesmen, who come close to taking over the city itself.
1936 July 17: Melilla is the first Spanish town to rise against the government, which meant the start of the Spanish Civil War.
1978: King Hassan 2 of Morocco makes claim on Melilla and Ceuta.
1983 March: Moroccan blockade of Melilla, as well as of Ceuta.
1988 June: Signing of a bilateral agreement between Spain and Morocco on economic cooperation.
1994 September: Autonomy is not fully approved by the Spanish government. This leads to the establishment of a local assembly with 25 members, similar to what is found in municipal councils in Spain.

By Tore Kjeilen