"You should not look for legal or economic arguments to maintain what you do. It is simply wrong", stated a concerned Tasmanian teacher in a letter to the importing firm this week. This new video shows the shipment of phosphates that arrived Impact Fertilisers in Tasmania, July 2010, from occupied Western Sahara.
Western Sahara Resource Watch has previously revealed photos of the vessel Star Canopus that arrived Tasmania with phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. WSRW can now present a fresh video showing the same import.
WSRW has protested the Impact Fertilisers's repeated purchases from the occupied territory, but the trade has continued till today. The company explains that they will maintain the imports since it is not illegal, and that if they terminate the imports, "any void left would soon be filled with other purchasers".
The trade is controversial since it takes place in violation of international law, and contributes in maintaining the illegal occupation of Western Sahara.
Peter Jones, a local High School teacher in Hobart, reacts to the trade.
"Even though Australia has no official sanctions against trading with phosphates from Western Sahara, and although it is not illegal under Australian law to carry out such purchases, your trade is evidently unethical", stated Jones in a letter to his fellow Tasmanians in Impact 27th August 2010.
"I see it as evident that paying an occupying power for resources that do not belong to it, is unethical behaviour. I urge you to please reconsider your imports from Morocco to Tasmania and think about those people who are the actual owners of the phosphate you are using. You should not look for legal or economic arguments to maintain what you do. It is simply wrong", stated Jones.
The UN has stated that if the natural resource activity is not to the interest nor benefit of the Saharawis, it is in violation of international law. The phosphate production takes place inside the territory that Morocco illegally occupied in 1975. But still, the Moroccan government has not consulted with representatives of the Saharawi to request permission to carry out the multi-million dollar exports, and Saharawis have been demonstrating regularly in the occupied territories against the trade.
The International Court of Justice has rejected Morocco's claims to the territory of 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.