The vessel 'Alycia' arrived on Tuesday 7 August 2012 at Risdon dock in Hobart, ready to discharge its controversial cargo of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara for the local fertilizer producer Impact Fertilisers.
The Tasmanian fertiliser company Impact has for a number of years purchased phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. The purchases contribute to uphold the occupation of the territory. It comes labelled as import from 'Morocco' although it really comes from Western Sahara. Morocco illegally and brutally occupied Western Sahara in 1975.
The phosphate rock is used to make superphosphate fertiliser used mainly to improve pasture, but sometimes for crops.
The Maltese flagged vessel (IMO number 958336) loaded the cargo in occupied territory on 18 June 2012. It is owned by a Greek shipping company. The image above shows the vessel docked at the harbour in Risdon, Tasmania, on 7 August 2012.
The Australian Western Sahara Association protests the purchase by Australian companies of phosphate coming from Western Sahara which is sold by the occupying power, Morocco, without consulting the indigenous Saharawi people, without their consent, and giving them no benefit.
WSRW has on several occasions called on Impact to halt its unethical purchases.
In October-November 2010 tens of thousands of Saharawis held a protest camp at Gdeim Izik, near the occupied capital, El Aaiun. They complained that they were being treated as second class citizens in their own country, while Morocco exploited their natural resources for its profit.
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.