While Morocco is selling the riches of Western Sahara to foreign governments and companies, the majority of the Sahrawi population suffers an emergency humanitarian crisis in the refugee camps in Algeria.
When Morocco bombed the towns in Western Sahara during the 1975 occupation, the majority of the Sahrawi population fled the country.
Today, more than 30 years later, approximately 165.000 refugees still live in refugee camps in the desert across the border to Algeria.
They are completely dependent on foreign humanitarian aid, but every year the aid is decreasing.
A study from the Norwegian Church Aid and Medicos del Mundo in 2008, showed that 19 percent of children in the camps suffer from malnutrition. According to the UN, one has an emergency crisis when 15% of children are malnourished.
The multilateral aid (from WFP, ECHO and UNHCR) to the Sahrawi refugee camps 2007 amounted to approximately 30 million dollars. As a comparison: Morocco probably earned around 1500 billion dollars on the illegal phosphate exports from the occupied territory in the year 2008 alone.
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.
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.
Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.