The Parliament of the Basque Country on 3 March 2017 approved what is called an "institutional declaration" regarding Spanish and Basque companies in Western Sahara.
The text expresses its concern over the exploitation of resources "in violation of international and European law", and calls on European, Spanish and Basque companies to not engage in operations which prolong the occupation.
It recalled on the obligation to seek the consent of the Saharawi people before undertaking any business activity in Western Sahara and underlined the need for European, Spanish and Basque enterprises not to be involved in Moroccan industries in the occupied territory - such as in fisheries, agriculture, phosphates sand or renewable energies.
The company from Basque Country with the most recent involvement in Western Sahara, to WSRW's knowledge, is the company Ormazabal which supplied equipment for the construction of the windmills that the Moroccan state phosphate company OCP is using for the phosphate plunder at the Foum El Oued wind park at Bou Craa, Western Sahara.
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 three 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.