WSRW calls for suspension EU-Morocco fish deal
parliament_610.jpg

WSRW submits that Morocco's violation of the ceasefire in occupied Western Sahara, plunging the territory into war and putting lives of Saharawi civilians at risk, is a violation of the EU-Morocco fish deal's human rights clause.
Published: 18.11 - 2020 14:10Printer version    
WSRW has today called upon the European Commission to suspend the EU Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) over Morocco's violation of the deal's human rights clause.

Article 3 of the agreement allows the EU to unilaterally suspend the agreement if Morocco fails to respect "democratic principles and fundamental human rights".

On Friday 13 November, 2020, Morocco's army violently intervened to end a Saharawi protest in an area of Western Sahara where the terms of the ceasefire agreement prohibit any military presence. In doing so, Morocco breached the nearly three-decade old ceasefire in the territory, imposing war on the Saharawis. Over the last 6 days, there have been daily reports of armed clashes between the Moroccan army and the Saharawi Liberation Army, now confirmed by the UN. Saharawis living in the part of Western Sahara that is under Morocco's military occupation report an upsurge in arrests and house-raids by the Moroccan security apparatus.

"In the last few days, Morocco has breached the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, an act that in itself is a denial of the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has engaged in military combat and has since 15 November been rounding up Saharawi civilians over their political views", WSRW wrote to DG MARE, the EU's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The letter outlines three main questions:
"1. Will the EU Commission propose the suspension by the EU side of the SFPA, given Morocco’s failure to comply with article 3 of the SFPA and article 2 of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement? If not, why?
2. How will the EU ensure that the sectoral support given to Morocco as part of the SFPA is not used for the purpose of repression, armed conflict, furthering territorial claims or regional destabilization, in violation inter alia of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement and the EU Common Position on Arms Exports (criteria 2, 3 and 4)? Under the previous EU-Morocco FPA, Morocco bought all-terrain vehicles for surveillance purposes. What guarantees does the EU have that these will not be used in combat?
3. Has DG MARE issued an alert to Member States and EU fishermen licensed to fish under the SFPA of the fundamental change on the ground?"

"It remains to be seen whether the EU Commission - which sees no problem in fishing in occupied Western Sahara through a deal with Morocco, against  the express will of the Saharawi people - will consider Morocco's violation of the UN-brokered truce, subsequent reprisal of war and the precarious situation of Saharawi human rights activists and journalists, as a human rights concern", says Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of Western Sahara Resource Watch.

The EU's approach of including the occupied territory of Western Sahara into the territorial scope of its bilateral agreements with Morocco has been frustrating Saharawis for years. Since December 2015, the EU Court of Justice has issued four consecutive Rulings, all invalidating the application of EU-Morocco agreements to the territory. The Court argued that Western Sahara is "separate and distinct" from any country in the world, including Morocco, and that the latter has no sovereignty or administering mandate over the territory. As such, the Court stated, the people of Western Sahara ought to be regarded as a third party that is to give its consent for any such agreement to lawfully affect their land.

After Morocco's threats to stop participating in EU funded counter-migration and anti-terrorism programmes, the EU Commission and Morocco negotiated an amendment to their fisheries agreement in 2018, so that it now explicitely refers to Western Sahara in its territorial scope. The Saharawis were not asked for their consent - and their opposition to the approach was even used against them by EU Commission, which falsely presented their protest as part of a consultation exercise. The revised fisheries agreement is at present being reviewed yet again by the EU Court of Justice. A Ruling is expected in 2021.




    

Top
News:

26.11 - 2020 / 26.11 - 2020Life sentences confirmed for political prisoners
19.11 - 2020 / 19.11 - 2020Saharawi gov calls for halt of all activity in Western Sahara over war
18.11 - 2020 / 18.11 - 2020WSRW calls for suspension EU-Morocco fish deal
17.11 - 2020 / 03.11 - 2020EU Commission says Western Sahara not part of aviation agreement
16.11 - 2020 / 16.11 - 2020Protesters in New Zealand block entry to controversial factories  
13.11 - 2020 / 13.11 - 2020Morocco intervenes militarily to re-open its plunder corridor
13.11 - 2020 / 13.11 - 2020MEPs: EU should warn Enel and Siemens
06.11 - 2020 / 30.10 - 2020Swedish renewable company Azelio silent about Western Sahara
05.11 - 2020 / 05.11 - 2020DNV GL exits project in Western Sahara, will not return
02.11 - 2020 / 27.10 - 2020Siemens Gamesa with new large deal for occupied Western Sahara
31.10 - 2020 / 31.10 - 2020EU-Mauritanian fleet circumvents Saharawi roadblock
12.10 - 2020 / 12.10 - 2020Russian fisheries still absent from Western Sahara
07.10 - 2020 / 07.10 - 2020West African controversial fish imports resume
05.10 - 2020 / 02.10 - 2020No more Swedish supplies to the Bou Craa mine
08.09 - 2020 / 16.06 - 2020Soon 10 years of wrongful imprisonment: release Gdeim Izik group now
08.09 - 2020 / 07.09 - 2020DHL: ignoring Saharawi rights for 5 parcels a day
24.08 - 2020 / 24.08 - 2020Concrete plans for third solar plant in occupied Western Sahara
10.08 - 2020 / 18.07 - 2020Voltalia to construct wind farm in occupied Western Sahara
28.07 - 2020 / 22.07 - 2020Will Deutsche Post's AGM provide clarity on Western Sahara operations?
27.07 - 2020 / 01.07 - 2020New Indian construction company in occupied Western Sahara




EN ES FR DE AR

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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

tn_law_hammer.jpg

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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.

WSRW.org News Archive 2020
WSRW.org News Archive 2019
WSRW.org News Archive 2018
WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy