Disputed phosphate arrived in Australia

Last week, shipments of phosphates arrived in the ports of Hobart and Geelong in Australia. The vessel above, Livadia, was seen arriving Tasmania 27 May 2011.
Published: 29.05 - 2011 20:46Printer version    
Image above: bulk vessel Livadia, seen on 27 May 2011 at anchor downstream from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, loaded with phosphate rock from Western Sahara. See more images at the bottom of this story.

The Australia Western Sahara Association issued on 24 May 2011 the below press release.

Disputed phosphate shipped to Geelong and Hobart – Australian companies continue unethical trade

As the Triton Stork berthed in Geelong at 6pm Monday, the Australia Western Sahara Association denounced Australia’s trade with Morocco in phosphate sourced in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Earlier this month, Aicha Dahane, a Saharawi human rights activist from occupied Western Sahara added her voice to the protest about what superphosphate manufacturer, Incitec Pivot is doing in Geelong.

She said the trade in her country’s natural resources should benefit her homeland and its people.  Indeed, Saharawis want to run this industry themselves and control their own natural wealth instead of seeing it make the colonial regime of Morocco grow rich.

For years the people of Western Sahara have been promised a referendum of self-determination by the United Nations, but Morocco has stymied attempts to organise a vote since 1975.

On Wednesday another phosphate shipment is due to arrive in Hobart on board the Livadia, this time for the Tasmanian-based company Impact Fertlisers.

“Australian companies and the government should clearly understand that they cannot support this trade so long as the conflict over Western Sahara remains unresolved”, said Cate Lewis, Vice President of AWSA. “With this phosphate trade our country is supporting the illegal Moroccan occupation while no country in the world recognises Morocco’s claim to this territory”, she added.

Further information:

Contact:  Cate Lewis (+61) 0407 288 358

The below images show Livadia arriving Hobart with cargo from Western Sahara.







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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