Morocco: The country became a French protectorate in 1912. It was under colonial rule until granted its independence in 1956.
Algeria: France began colonizing Algeria in 1830 with an attack on Algiers, and annexed the country in 1842.
Algeria won its independence in 1962 after an eight-year war that cost up to 1 million Algerian and 28,000 French lives.
Tunisia: Occupied by France in 1881, Tunisia became a French protectorate in 1883. After World War I, Tunisia began negotiating its independence. A breakdown in nego-tiations led to a brief guerrilla war in 1952. France granted its independence in 1956.
Libya: Libya was conquered by Italy in 1912, but was not easily subjugated by foreign rule.
The country won its independence in 1951, but it remained under Western influence until the discovery of oil in 1959 and the rise to power of Col. Muammar Qaddafi in 1969.