State Bank of the Riff - Foreign Issues
AbdelKrim el-Khattabi has been opposing for several years the Spanish administration which occupies its Rif region
northern Morocco. Between 1921 and 1926 he organized a general uprising by bringing together all the local tribes to form an independent Rif Republic. The State Bank of the Rif is created and two banknotes are issued: 1 Riffan and 5 Riffans, the 1 Riffan equivalent to 1 gold franc or 10 British Pence. The banknotes are in English and Arabic with only one mention in French "Bon pour un Franc d’or". Yet the territory of the Rif is then under Spanish administration! The uprising is heavily repressed by the entry into the war of France, which has hidden pretensions to the southern Rif. The French are especially aware that to let the situation worsen could create dangerous precedents for its own colonial territories. In 1925, Marshal Petain took command at the head of 200,000 soldiers, and with Spanish support, started the military operations against this Republic of the Rif. Abdelkrim finally laid down his arms on May 26, 1926, and was sent to exile in Reunion. The two notes of 1 Riffan and 5 Riffans remain the witnesses of this historical period. These are not very rare and are often in good condition for purchase. We know several series that probably come from finds made in the past in Morocco.