Upon the visit of the UN Secretary-General to the Saharawi refugee camps yesterday, the SADR Government deposited with Ban Ki-Moon - as the depositary of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea - the coordinates and charts of its exact EEZ claims.
"The coordinates and charts showing the EEZ outer limits will now be communicated to all UN member states trough their Permanent Missions in New York", stated Frente Polisario in a press release.
The initial 200 nautical mile Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) claim offshore Western Sahara was initially deposited on 22 January 2009, but without precisely defining the maritime borders to the neighbouring states Morocco, Spain and Mauritania, or extention into international waters.
"In clarifying the outer limits of Western Sahara's EEZ, the SADR Government made clear that it is not willing to tolerate the illegal exploitation of its natural resources, including rich offshore fisheries resources, nor ongoing efforts by Morocco and complicit foreign companies to explore the seabed resources in Western Sahara's waters", the statement reads.
No state in the world recognise Morocco's self-proclaimed demands of sovereignty over Western Sahara. Those have been rejected by the International Court of Justice. The UN deals with Western Sahara as the last unresolved colonial issue in Africa.
Ban Ki-Moon's visit yesterday to the liberated territories of Western Sahara, and to the refugee camps in Algeria was the first during his time in office.
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.