Aminatou Haidar denounces the plundering
Published: 07.08 - 2008 19:37Printer version    
The Sahrawi human rights activist, Aminatu Haidar, participated in the Women's World Conference in Madrid 3rd to 8th of July in Madrid, Spain.

This part of the speech, she talked about the Moroccan natural resource exploitation in occupied Western Sahara.

Here is an English translation of her speech:

"Ladies and gentlemen,

The economic crimes committed by the Moroccan state in the occupied territories of Western Sahara aren’t less important than the violations of the political and civil rights of the Saharawi people. Since years, the natural resources of Western Sahara form the object of a far-reaching pillage: the fishing in the Saharan national waters, the amputation of phosphates of Bou Craa and the entire exploitation are illegal acts, as confirmed by Resolution 1803 of the General Assembly of 14 December 1966 on the Permanent Sovereignty over natural resources, by article 1, paragraph 2 of two international conventions on Political and Civil Rights, and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, of 1966, and also by article 6, paragraph 2, of the Charter of economic rights and the obligations of States of 1974 that says that no State has the right to promote or encourage investments that can constitute an obstacle to the liberation of a territory occupied by force.

Ladies and gentlemen, the consequences of a pillage of the natural resources of Western Sahara, as undertaken today by various Moroccan, European and other companies, constitutes not only an element hindering to find a just and equitable solution allowing the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination, but what is worse is that it threatens the mere existence of the people and its future Saharawi generations, because they’re being deprived of the means to lead a decent live and are condemned to live in poverty and indignity. It is important to stop this grand theft that is ongoing today with the indifference of some, and the complicity of others.

Ladies and gentlemen, the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, that has visited the territory of Western Sahara in 15-19 May of 2006, has confirmed that every violation of human rights in Western Sahara results from the denial of the fundamental right, the founding right of the UN, namely the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people, which is universally recognized.

In order to stop the human rights violations in Western Sahara and to contribute to the peace-building in the occupied territories as well as in Morocco proper, who want peace in the Mediterranean area, all of us will have to work for the protection of the inalienable right to and the perspective towards self-determination of the Saharawi people. This will certainly allow for an evolution of the Arab Maghreb Union."




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.
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