I am writing to follow-up on Lifosa AB’s halting of phosphate rock imports from occupied Western Sahara.
Our organization, Western Sahara Resource Watch, is in the process of writing an update of its annual P for Plunder report, documenting the phosphate trade from the last colony in Africa. Please find previous issues of that report here: https://www.wsrw.org/a105x4497. Lifosa will be featured in the new report, and categorized as a company that is “under observation”: a company that has not imported from Western Sahara in recent years, but one that might potentially resume purchases.
We understand that Lifosa received its last cargo of Western Sahara phosphate in October 2016, as was stated in your correspondence with us, and as is corroborated by our own vessel-tracking. While we understand from your letter to us that there are no plans for further purchases, we have not seen a formal, public statement from EuroChem indicating a policy of abstaining from the trade while the status of Western Sahara has not been settled in accordance with international law.
Accordingly, a two-fold question to EuroChem:
1. Has EuroChem released a statement announcing it will not resume phosphate imports from Western Sahara pending resolution of the conflict in accordance with international law?
2. If not, will EuroChem release such a statement in the near future?
We’d be grateful for an answer before 20 December 2019. Your clarification will allow us to properly label your company in the upcoming report. Naturally, we’d look forward to placing the company under the header of “companies no longer involved”, and as such would welcome a clear statement from EuroChem regarding its presumed decision to halt any further imports from Western Sahara.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Sara Eyckmans Coordinator Western Sahara Resource Watch
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.