Ballance takes in new controversial cargo to replace detained vessel
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The New Zealand farmer-owned cooperative Ballance Agri-Nutrients is taking in another dirty cargo of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara while the vessel NM Cherry Blossom is detained by a court in South Africa.
Published: 01.06 - 2017 10:45Printer version    
New Zealand is the world’s second biggest importer of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara, a report from WSRW documented in April. Farmers of New Zealand are therefore among the biggest financial supporters of Morocco’s illegal occupation of the last unresolved colony in Africa.

On 1 May 2017, the Saharawi people – the owners of the phosphate rock – tried to have the problematic trade stopped, by succeeding to have a New Zealand bound vessel detained in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. On 9 June, the court is set to decide on the ownership of the phosphate rock, to identify whether the cargo belongs to the Moroccan occupier, to the farmers of New Zealand who has paid the occupying power, or to the people of Western Sahara themselves.

While the NM Cherry Blossom is locked at anchor in South Africa, it has now been confirmed that Ballance Agri-Nutrients is now taking in replacement cargo. The vessel is the Greek flagged Common Spirit. It departed El Aaiun on 16-17 May, only 15 days after NM Cherry Blossom was detained in South Africa.

Yesterday, Common Spirit completed a stop-over in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where it has most probably fuelled up. It is set to arrive Tauranga, New Zealand on 25 June. Tauranga is one of the ports into which Ballance Agri-Nutrients receives phosphates for production.

“It is saddening in the first place that the company fails to understand its negative role on the conflict. But it is simply surprising to observe that takes such steps as to take in a replacement now as a court is addressing the legality of the trade”, stated Morten Nielsen of Westenr Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW)

Nielsen underlined that WSRW has followed the trade daily for a number of years and that “we can easily say that it is not normal for Ballance to take in two vessels within 16 days of each other”.

The company has purchased 16 cargoes during the years 2012-2017, this includes the one detained in South Africa. In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, the company purchased three cargos, while in 2015 and so far in 2017 there have been 2 cargos.

WSRW estimates Common Spirit vessel to contain 55,000 tonnes of rock – a 97% of the ship’s stated deadweight capacity of 57,078 tonnes. As Common Spirit arrived to El Aaiun in Western Sahara to load the controversial cargo, it had sailed directly from Jorf Lasfar, a phosphate exporting port in Morocco. Therefore, there is a possibility that parts of the cargo onboard is from Western Sahara, while parts also might be from neighbouring Morocco.

The Greek flagged vessel (IMO number 9594717) is owned and operated by Greek company Common Progress Compania.

Half the people of Western Sahara has lived as refugees since Morocco occupied the territory in order to take control of the mine.

    
News:

19.07 - 2017 / 18.07 - 2017Civilian court follows military court against Saharawi activists
13.07 - 2017 / 13.07 - 2017Western Sahara has won its conflict cargo case in South Africa
10.07 - 2017 / 10.07 - 2017Siemens inconsistently supporting occupations
05.07 - 2017 / 05.07 - 2017Sign up! Stop EU trade talks with Morocco regarding Western Sahara!
02.07 - 2017 / 01.07 - 2017New Chinese interest in oil search in occupied Western Sahara?
01.07 - 2017 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
30.06 - 2017 / 30.06 - 2017Here is Dura Bulk unloading Western Sahara sand in Tenerife
30.06 - 2017 / 29.06 - 2017Western Sahara solar plants expected to be operational in 2018
21.06 - 2017 / 21.06 - 2017Polisario warns shipping industry of more vessel detentions
20.06 - 2017 / 20.06 - 2017Isle of Man shipping company exits Western Sahara until settlement
16.06 - 2017 / 16.06 - 2017New report reveals the companies transporting conflict phosphate rock
15.06 - 2017 / 15.06 - 2017Saharawis won first round in conflict mineral cargo court case
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Wisby Tankers continues fueling occupation of Western Sahara
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Swedish bank excludes phosphates industry in Western Sahara
06.06 - 2017 / 19.05 - 201715 questions that Atlas Copco does not want to answer
02.06 - 2017 / 02.06 - 2017Moroccan government confirmed Glencore exit from Foum Ognit
01.06 - 2017 / 01.06 - 2017Ballance takes in new controversial cargo to replace detained vessel
30.05 - 2017 / 30.05 - 2017UN Global Compact drops Vigeo Eiris case after own goal
30.05 - 2017 / 30.05 - 2017Protests in Palma de Mallorca against sand imports
30.05 - 2017 / 29.05 - 2017Can the EU answer these questions on Western Sahara trade talks?




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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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

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On 17 February 2013, in a mockery of justice, a Moroccan military court condemned 25 Saharawi citizens to shockingly tough prison sentences. Help us to release the Gdeim Izik 25.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

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Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

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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.
The Western Sahara oil curse

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Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


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