June 27th marks the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Abbas Messaadi, Amazigh leader and one of the founding members of the Moroccan Army of Liberation before his controversial assassination in June 1956 that would ultimately trigger the 1957 Rif Revolt.
Abbas was running a military camp in Aknoul and was assassinated in Fes in June 1956 allegedly by Karim Hajjaj, a member of the Istiqlal party. His assassination was allegedly ordered by Mehdi Ben Barka, one of the younger leaders of the Istiqlal party.
He was first buried in Fes but in 1957 his remains were transferred to Ajdir, in Rif region. the stronghold of Mohamed ben Abdelkrim al-Khattabi, against the wishes of the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior. When security forces were sent by the ministry to repatriate the body to Fes, this sparked clashes with the population in Ajdir which led to the Rif revolt.
His murder was the first in a series of assassinations directed against members of the Moroccan Army of liberation and other factions competing with the Istiqlal party and the Alaouite family.