On 5 and 7 January, the bulk carrier Maratha Prudence discharged 8,000 tonnes in Portland and another 22,000 tonnes in Geelong - the two ports were Ozzie fertilizer producer Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) takes in its cargoes of raw material. The discharge operation is said to have ended last Sunday, 10 January.
WSRW's Australian Member Organisation, AWSA, had protested the shipment in December, while the vessel was still on course for Australia. "As we have pointed out to you many times in the past, the material is being sold to IPL, not by its rightful owners the Saharawi people, nor with their consent, but by the occupying power in their country, Morocco. As we continue to remind you, every transaction with Morocco involving goods from Western Sahara, strengthens Morocco’s resolve to resist a fair resolution of this decades long occupation", AWSA president Lyn Allison wrote to the Chairman of the IPL Board, Mr Paul Brasher.
AWSA also took the floor at Incitec's AGM in Melbourne on 17 December, questioning the legality and ethics of IPL's continued imports from Africa's last colony. Their intervention was covered in a piece from The Weekly Times on the need for scrutiny at corporate annual meetings.
Incitec Pivot has been subject to blacklisting by investors over the past few years, precisely due to its imports from occupied Western Sahara and related human rights concerns.
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 three 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.