As expected: when Morocco opens COP22 meeting at the national day of the occupation, the government would make a point of the occupation of Western Sahara.
Prime minister Salaheddine Mezouar gave his first press conference today as COP22 President on the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech.
"Salahedinne Mezouar pointed to remarks from HM King Mohammed VI made on the anniversary of Morocco’s Green March (November 6) in which he called for Marrakech to be the COP of action", the official COP22.ma website notes.
That site is administered by the Moroccan government. The "Green March" refers to the Moroccan invasion of the territory of Western Sahara. The march was condemned by the United Nations at the time.
On the COP22.ma website there are now (see picture to the right) a photo from a press conference regarding a football match in the occupied territory which WSRW wrote about on 5 November. "On the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the Green March", the banner reads.
Mass graves are still uncovered of people from that time. Over 500 Saharawis - indigenous of Western Sahara - are still missing, and half the people of the territory are now refugees as a consequence of the invasion.
One of those who fled was Suelma Beirouk - vice president of the African Union - who is today deported from Morocco. The latest information from Beirouk is that she will be sent to Mauritania. She has been in police custody for more than 24 hours.
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.