For a long time, the Desertec energy project considered entering into Western Sahara. On 23 April 2010, the company announced that its reference projects will not be located in Western Sahara, citing “reputational reasons”.
In October 2008, WSRW discovered that the Belgian branch of the German chemical company BASF had imported phosphates from the Bu Craa mines in occupied Western Sahara.
WSRW and former German Euro-parliamentarian Margot Kessler addressed a letter to BASF on the 22nd of October, demanding a clarification on this matter. In their reply, dated 30 October 2008, BASF confirmed the alleged import, but stated that "for the time being, this was an isolated replacement delivery from this territory which we do not expect to be repeated in the future. "
In June 2009, the German shipping company Doehle was involved in the unethical transport of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara to Colombia.
Read more: German shipping company Doehle in unethical transport Demands Doehle to terminate transports
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.