The Australian company Impact has for a number of years been an importer of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
The imported phosphates have been used for production of fertilizers for the Australian farming industry. Some of it for use on Tasmania, and some for use for the Australian mainland.
But at least on one occasion, the end product has also been exported. In May 2007, 50.000 tonnes of fertilizer was exported to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The photo above shows the vessel 'Nena M', loaded with parts the cargo. Photo was taken in Hobart harbour, Tasmania, on 10th of May 2007. A few days later, the remainder of the cargo was loaded onto the vessel, before she departed.
It is not clear who the importer in Brazil was. And it has not been 100% confirmed whether the original source of the product in fact came from phosphate rock in Western Sahara, or somewhere else. Considering Impact's regular imports from Western Sahara, however, WSRW finds it likely that the source is indeed from the occupied country.
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.