Picture above: the Shekou Sea, photographed by Raenuld Greenleaf.
Tomorrow, a bulk vessel with a capacity of over 72.000 tonnes, the “Shekou Sea” (IMO: 9138927), will arrive in Geismar, Louisiana - home of US-Canadian fertiliser company PotashCorp's processing plant. For decades, PotashCorp has been the single largest buyer of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. And it shows no intention of ending its controversial imports.
Western Sahara Resource Watch has today sent a fourth letter to the company, raising previously unanswered questions on the company's purchases and also commenting on a statement released by PotashCorp in defence of its imports from the occupied territory.
“It is to us peculiar to observe that PotashCorp, in its concluding remark in the statement, claims that abstaining from trading with phosphates in Western Sahara is a political action, while undertaking it as apolitical”, WSRW wrote in the letter sent today. “It would be obvious that remaining the largest purchaser of commercial goods from occupied Western Sahara, paying the occupying power tens of millions of dollars annually, is an act of highly political nature, making it less likely that Morocco will engage in serious peace talks under the auspices of the UN.”
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.