European Court's judgment now available in English
On 10 December 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled the EU-Morocco agricultural agreement in so far as it applies to Western Sahara. The entire text of the judgment is now also available in English.
As recognized by the EU Council itself (point. 81:“no EU institution had ever recognised, de facto or de jure, Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara”), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirms that “the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara is not recognised by the European Union or its Member States, or more generally by the UN”(point. 241). It further states that Western Sahara “is not included in the recognised international frontiers of [Morocco] (point 232), and “that the Kingdom of Morocco does not have any mandate granted by the UN or by another international body for the administration of [Western Sahara]” (point 233).
The CJEU decision echoes the 4 July 2014 Decision of Spain's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional which confirms that Spain, not Morocco, is the administering power over Western Sahara, and that the "territory cannot be considered Moroccan". The Judgment literally states that 1975 Madrid Agreement partitioning the then Spanish Sahara to Morocco and Mauritania in 1975, is "null and without legal effect". Read the official English translation of the Audiencia Nacional's Judgment here.
All these findings confirm that, despite 40 years of illegal occupation and the failure of Spain to fulfill its mandate, the principles laid down by the International Court of Justice in its 1975 Advisory Opinion on Western Sahara remain unchanged: Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and the Saharawi people must be free to exercise their right to self-determination.
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 five 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.