Western Sahara plunder discussed in UN decolonisation committee

Western Sahara has been treated by the UN as a decolonisation issue since the 1960s. 16 June 2009, the plundering was discussed in the committee.
Published: 17.06 - 2009 08:24Printer version    
Frente Polisario's representative in New York, Ahmed Boukhari, urged in a presentation to the Special Committee on Decolonisation a halt of the plundering of the natural resources in Western Sahara.

According to the minutes from discussion, Mr. Boukhari put forward the following points:

"Morocco had intensified its exploitation and commercialization of the Territory, awarding its best natural resources, notably phosphorous and fishing, to the highest bidder.  It was also including foreign companies in prospecting for petroleum, in serious violation of international law governing a Territory in the process of decolonization.  That violation was particularly serious when taking into account that in January 2002 Hans Corell, then Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, had said that the Organization did not consider Morocco to be the sovereign or administering Power in Western Sahara."

One of the members of the Special Committee that took the floor, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, said it was both unfortunate and unacceptable that Western Sahara remained the only unresolved case on the African continent.  The Assembly had consistently recognized the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence, repeatedly adopting resolutions and decisions on the matter that went unheeded.  The Security Council had also consistently called for the self-determination of the Saharawi people.

The United Republic of Tanzania also called attention to reported illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources, which merited the Special Committee’s attention.

See the minutes from the 16 June 2009 discussion here.

Download the speech of Polisario representative, Mr. Ahmed Boukhari, here.




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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