The Danish company Dansk Vejsalt today confirmed to Western Sahara Resource Watch’s member in Denmark, Afrika Kontakt, that they are importing El Aauin, Western Sahara.
From what Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) understands, the company is purchasing up to 24.000 tonnes of salt from the territory. Denmark is currently experiencing in intense winter, while Danske Vejsalt is a large supplier to public Danish roads.
“Danish winter roads must not be de-iced at the expense of human rights violations. Danske Vejsalt must immediately stop its purchase from the occupied territories. The trade is violating international law, and it contributes to finance Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara. Afrika Kontakt urges all Danish municipalities to not purchase road salt from the company unless they can prove its not of Western Sahara origin”, stated Morten Nielsen of Afrika Kontakt.
A representative of the company was about to board a plane in El Aaiun, heading home to Denmark, as Afrika Kontakt called him.
Danske Vejsalt purchases its salt from the Texas based company Crystal Mountain, which last year started production of salt from the occupied territory. The company claims on its website that it originates from southern Morocco, but Western Sahara Resource Watch has documented that the company’s mine is in fact located in Oum Dbaa, in occupied Western Sahara.
“The salt industry in occupied Western Sahara has just started and the export from Western Sahara taking place to Denmark this week is the first export we have documented to this day”, stated Erik Hagen, chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch.
From what we understand, the salt will arrive Denmark on the vessel ’Blankenese’ in a week or two. Read more about the salt mine in Oum Dbaa, Western Sahara, in an article earlier this month.
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.
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