The UN states that Saharawi must be consulted - but the EU doesn't seem to care. Saharawi in occupied Western Sahara protest the EU's violation of international law in their territory, as the European Commission works to continue the unethical fisheries offshore their coast.
According to the UN, the Saharawi must be consulted regarding natural resource activity in their territory.
However, the EU ignores to take into account the UN opinion on the issue. Particularly the Spanish government refuses to give the Saharawi people the right that the UN demands, and has pushed the Commission to work for a continuation of the EU fisheries in Western Sahara, despite the wishes even of the Fisheries Commissioner herself.
After 4 years of continuous fisheries, not a single piece of evidence has been made public as to whether the EU's fisheries is to any benefit for the Saharawi. All information presented by the Saharawi themselves, point to the opposite: the millions of Euros that the EU pays to Morocco for fishing in the non-Moroccan waters offshore Western Sahara are used to cement the illegal and brutal occupation.
This week, Saharawi small-scale fishermen in Western Sahara have continued the demonstrations against the marginalisation they experience from access to their own waters. "Where is our right in fishing treaty", one of the banners read. Only few weeks ago, dozens of fishermen were refused entry to the Saharan port of Boujdour.
Licenses are in stead given to the EU fleet, and to Moroccan settlers. The photos of this demonstration were taken this week in El Aaiun, inside the territory. Among the demonstrators were also victims of other human rights abuses committed recently by Moroccan government, following the social protests last year, in which a substantial part of the Saharawi people took to the streets against the marginalisation they experience in their own 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.