Danish company Dansk Vejsalt has confirmed that they import salt from El Aaiun, the occupied capital of Western Sahara. The company purchases up to 24.000 tonnes of salt from the area. Danske Vejsalt buys its salt from the Texas based company Crystal Mountain, which started production of salt from the occupied territory in 2012.
In February 2008, J. Lauritzen, the Danish shipping conglomerate, was accused of plundering natural resources in the occupied Western Sahara according to a report from Danwatch. According to the Copenhagen Post, a Lauritzen vessel, Ermis, is indeed used in the phosphate shipping.
Jens Ditlev Lauritzen, vice-president of the shipping company, denied any ethical responsibility in the matter. He said the vessel was chartered to a Greek shipping company that in turn had leased it to a Korean company.
Read more: UPI: Danish shipper accused of plundering Danwatch: Danish Shipping Company contributes to Plunder, FP says
The Danish government has an official policy against trade in non-renewable resources from Western Sahara.
The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads: “Taking the principles of international law regarding non-renewable resources from Non-self Governing Territories as a point of reference, it is the opinion of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that such exploitation should not take place.” “Denmark supports that the status for Western Sahara should be settled in a peaceful process under the auspices of the UN, and that until the time when a final status is found, actions should not take place that are in violation of the local populations’ interests relating to the resource basis of the territory.” “Although the principles of international law and human rights are in general not directly binding for Danish companies, the Ministry will at all times encourage Danish companies to be aware of their international responsibility.”
Read more: Danwatch: Denmark warns business over 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.