Polisario warns shipping industry of more vessel detentions
key_bay_06.01.2017_1815_610.jpg

In a statement today, the Saharawi government alerts the shipping industry of the risk involved in taking part of the plunder of Western Sahara.
Published: 21.06 - 2017 22:12Printer version    
The Saharawi Republic today issued what it called a "Policy Statement of the government of the Saharawi Republic on the risk and liability of ships carrying natural resources from occupied Western Sahara".

The statement indicates that the two detentions which were made in May 2017 are not the first. "Ships which carry the valuable commodity of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara will be pursued on a standing basis for legal action", the statement reads.

The bulk vessel NM Cherry Blossom has today been detained in South Africa for 51 days, and a trial to determine the cargos ownership has not yet started.

See full release below.

Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara (21 June 2017). The government of the Saharawi Republic (the SADR) avails itself of the opportunity to identify the material risks and express its policy in the matter of the ocean carriage of natural resources from occupied Western Sahara.

For more than four decades, the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara has been partly occupied under armed force with its inhabitants, the Saharawi people, denied the opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination. This period has seen the continuing large-scale plunder of natural resources including phosphate mineral rock, the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem fishery, and sand aggregates. The illegal sale and export of such resources is contrary to established principles of international law which guarantee the Saharawi people permanent sovereignty over their natural resources. This sale and export is a violation of international humanitarian law defined in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The purchasing of such resources can bring no certainty of right or enforceable title to them. The carriage by sea of these resources aids and abets the war crime of pillage as defined in the Convention and the Statute.

In recent years, the SADR government has informed ship owners, charterers and managing enterprises that an involvement with Western Sahara’s exported natural resources presents reputational and legal risks. The purpose of this policy statement is two-fold. First, such risks are restated. Second, the SADR government declares that it will more actively pursue ships, ship owners, and ship charterers by legal measures in liability for the carriage of Western Sahara’s resources.

The reputational risk for ship owners and charterers is that which results from knowingly participating in the export of resources from a territory widely referred to as Africa’s last colony. This entails possible rejection of trade by parties interested in an end to the occupation of Western Sahara, including commercial enterprise and governments throughout Africa and elsewhere.

The legal risk to ship owners and charterers is manifold. It includes possible civil legal action to detain (or interdict) and therefore recover cargos of Saharan resources on a worldwide basis. Moreover, claims for damages, including reparations, as well as equitable remedies are now intended to be pursued – including the individual ships involved (as proceedings in rem) where conveniently found – on a continuing basis into the future. An example of such risk is detailed in the decision of South Africa’s High Court Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Another v Owner and Charterers of the MV 'NM Cherry Blossom' and Others [2017] ZAECPEHC 31 (15 June 2017), available online at: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAECPEHC/2017/31.html

A first priority of the SADR government in civil legal proceedings is, accordingly, against those ships, their owners and charterers where a single ship has routinely carried cargos from Western Sahara or where a charterer has provided multiple ships on time or voyage fixtures in carriage of resources from the territory. In addition, ships which carry the valuable commodity of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara will be pursued on a standing basis for legal action.

The SADR government wishes to caution ship owners and charterers to insulate themselves and their ships from such prospective liability and compensation-attachment proceedings. Voyage charterers and managing enterprises may not always candidly disclose such risks. Therefore, the SADR government suggests contracts between ship owners and charterers prohibit the carriage of resources or any commodity from Western Sahara. A suitable charterparty term would provide that:

“Charterers are not permitted to trade this vessel to El Aauin (also known as Laayoune) and Dakhla in Western Sahara.”

The SADR government notes that the act of illegally exporting and trading in resources from the occupied area of Western Sahara is presently being defined as an offence in national law.

Questions about this policy statement from industry and other stakeholders are invited.

                     
#       #       #
For additional information and media contact:
Mr. Kamal Fadel
Saharawi Republic representative for Australia and New Zealand
Senior Executive, SADR Petroleum and Mining Authority
T: + 61 2 92 65 82 58
E: kfadel@sadroilandgas.com


    

Top

News archive:
01.02 - 2018EU has sealed Western Sahara trade deal in violation of Court Judgment
30.01 - 2018Vigeo Eiris reports untruly about UN human rights approval
29.01 - 2018'Biggest importer' of phosphate rock is pulling out
12.01 - 2018Glencore has left occupied Western Sahara
22.01 - 2018German government not supportive of business in Western Sahara
10.01 - 2018Polisario calls on EU to halt all trade talks covering Western Sahara
10.01 - 2018EU Court advocate: Fish agreement invalid for including Western Sahara




EN ES FR DE AR

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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies

tn_law_hammer.jpg

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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

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.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

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

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

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.

WSRW.org News Archive 2018
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


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy