Charm offensive for Spanish businessmen

In the midst of a complete media blackout and during a wave of human rights violations, Moroccan government has set up a separate charter plane to Western Sahara to convince Spanish businessmen that doing business in the territory is safe and smart.
Published: 01.12 - 2010 12:57Printer version    
For the Moroccan government, business must go on as normal in occupied Western Sahara.

The natural resource exploitation of the territory is in violation of the wishes and interests of the people of the territory, and thus in violation of international law. The Sahrawis have never been consulted on the trade.

The last months have been marked by social unrest, as as many as 20.000 Sahrawis took to a protest village outside of El Aaiun to express their discontent with the plundering and unemployment in the rich territory. Both fish industry and the offices of the Moroccan Ministry of Mines in El Aaiun were attacked in the violence that erupted after the Moroccan attack on the protest camp. New clashes took place in Smara this week.

While the unrest continues, Morocco, together with foreign businessmen, make huge profits on the illegal plunder of the territory.

According to Moroccan newspaper L'Économiste, 30 November 2010, the maire of El Aaiun has now chartered an airplane to transport businessmen from Tanger to El Aaiun to visit the city.

The reason of the trip is to "show the Spanish businessmen the true reality of what happened in El Aaiun and surroundings, far from the misleading truth presented by the Spanish media."

Dozens of journalists from Spain and other countries have been thrown out of Morocco and Western Sahara the last few weeks, for wanting to cover the situation in the territory.

"It is time that the Spanish business community takes social responsibility in the matter of Western Sahara. Contributing to the plunder, and in the cover-up of the abuses by embracing such trips, is central in the cementation of the occupation and escalation of the conflict level. Until the conflict is solved, all business in Western Sahara should stay out of the territory", stated Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of Western Sahara Resource Watch.

The business invitation to El Aaiun was announced in a breakfast meeting in Tanger Monday this week. See full text of the short story below.

Tanger: Les industriels espagnols de Tanger à El Aaiun
30 Nov 2010
Les industriels de la ville de Tanger ont été conviés par le maire de El Aaiun, Fouad El Omari, à une visite de la ville. L'objectif est de faire découvrir à ces hommes d'affaires espagnols la de ce qui s?est passé à El Aaiun et environs, loin de la vérité par les médias espagnols. Un avion a été spécialement affrété pour faire le voyage dans la journée du mardi. L'invitation a été adressée lors d'un déjeuner organisé lundi dernier à Tanger sur invitation de la mairie.




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


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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


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. News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 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