The Saharawi Natural Resource Watch (SNRW) today launched its first report since its establishment earlier this year. The report, titled “Saharawis: Poor People in a Rich Country”, looks at the fisheries in Western Sahara. The report is in its full version only available in Arabic.
The report shed lights on the different aspects, facts and statistics available on the fishing resources in Western Sahara, and the scale of exploitation, plunder and the serious destruction of the ecological system in the Saharawi waters.
The report presents to the reader useful data and information about the nature of the Saharawi fishing wealth, the species targeted by foreign fishing industry, and the large invasion of Moroccan fishermen to the territory, where more than 40 fishermen villages were built in the last two decades, according to the report.
The report calls upon “all States and foreign companies to refrain from importing the Sahrawi products or investing in the occupied Western Sahara as these activities are in violation of the international law and only encourage and feed the colonization”.
It particularly calls on “the members of the European parliament never to vote in favor of the EU-Morocco fishing agreement, as the same grounds that resulted in the cancellation of the previous agreement are still there”.
It estimated that “it is necessary for the United Nations to assume its legal responsibilities towards the protection of the Saharawi resources as it did in similar cases in East Timor and Namibia.”
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.
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