While vesting the ownership of the phosphate cargo in the Saharawi Government, the High Court also granted a sale order providing for the auction to run 30 calendar days from 19 March 2018. It closes on 19 April.
The starting bid was set at $1 million. From what Western Sahara Resource Watch understands, interested parties have shown interest in the auction. Material regarding the auction can be found on this website. The site shows images of the cargo, seen from inside of the hold of the vessel.
The Court also ordered an independent analysis of the cargo, which includes 45,000 tonnes of high-grade phosphate rock. In addition to publishing the already known judgment, the auction website released several technical reports regarding the cargo, including lab analysis (see below).
“We hope there will be significant interest now that the title is clear and is backed by the high court ruling,” said Kamal Fadel, executive member of the Saharawi Republic (SADR) Petroleum and Mining Authority. Fadel told media that the money raised would be used to pursue similar cases. “We plan to target everyone that deals illegally with our resources”, Fadel added.
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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.