former north African enclave of Spain and now part of the southwestern region of Morocco, along the Atlantic coast. An arid semidesert region of mountains and coastal plain, Ifni was first settled in 1476 by Diego Garcia de Herrera, lord of the Canaries, as a fortified Spanish fishing, slaving, and trading locality. Abandoned in 1524 because of disease and Moorish hostility, it was reclaimed following a Spanish-Moroccan treaty in 1860. Effective Spanish reoccupation of the region, however, did not occur until 1934. The enclave became part of Spanish West Africa in 1946 and was reorganized as a province under a governor-general in 1958. In 1969, Ifni was ceded to Morocco. The predominantly Berber population is engaged in fishing and in the raising of sheep, camels, and goats. Sidi Ifni, the chief city, is a local handicrafts centre and small port trading primarily with the Canary Islands.
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