Photo above: Russian trawler Admiral Starikov bunkering in Las Palmas in 2008. After some months pause, the Russian fleet returned to waters of occupied Western Sahara in December 2012
On 10 December, the Russian and Moroccan governments signed a controversial four year fisheries agreement. The agreement allowed 10 Russian trawlers to fish in Moroccan waters. But already now, 2 weeks later, it is clear that the agreement is being applied also offshore the territory of Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan occupation. Such fishing is clearly in violation of international law.
As of 26 December 2012, between four and six Russian vessels are engaged in fishing in the waters off occupied Western Sahara:
The m.v. Lazurnyy and the m.v. Zamoskvorechye are located on the mid-coast, between Dakhla and Bojador.
South of the Bay of Cintra and northwest of Cape Blanc, the m.v. Oleg Naydenov and the m.v. Humpback Whale are fishing.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.