Photos by: Rick Voice, Vancouver, Canada. Click on each image for high resolution.
The bulk vessel Ultra Rocanville, owned by Danish shipping company Ultrabulk, has just finished the discharging of phosphates cargo in Neptune Bulk Terminals in Vancouver, Canada. This morning, the vessel departed the port of Vancouver after a week offloading.
The Ultra Rocanville contained approx 58.000 tonnes of phosphates, with a value of approx. 6,7 million USD. That equals around a fourth of the entire multilateral humanitarian aid to the Saharawi refugees - who are the owners of the phosphates onboard.
However, the Saharawi refugees gain nothing. The expoitation of phosphate rock in occupied Western Sahara is done by a Moroccan state owned company without taking into account the wishes of the people of the terrritory. The Moroccan claims to the territory are found baseless by the International court of justice, and no state in the world recognise the Moroccan sovereignty claims over the land. The UN calls for self-determination for its people.
Below are hoppers that the phosphate rock is put into.
Neptune Berth 3, where the unloading is taking place, is the two A-frames storage areas and possibly where they probably load the trains for transportation to the interior of the 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.