A Moorish custom-house is placed on the Spanish border beyond the fort of Santa Isabel, and is the only authorized centre of trade on the Riff coast between Tetuan and the Algerian frontier.
It thus forms the entrepot for the commerce of the Riff district and its hinterland.
In 1908 two companies, under the protection of El Roghi, a chieftain then ruling the Riff region, started mining lead and iron some 15 m.
He had to sett) some knotty questions, foremost a conflict with Morocco, which was the consequence of the aggression of the unruly Riff tribes upon the Spanish outposts around Melilla.
The sultan of Morocco lost no tim~ in censuring the behaviour cf the Riff tribes, and in promisint that he would chastise them.
The trouble, long brewing, broke out in July, with the attack by the Riff tribesmen upon the workmen engaged on the railway being built to connect Melilla with the mines in the hills, held by Spanish concessionaires.