Busy imports to New Zealand from the occupied territory
Two vessels have this week-end been offloading phosphates in New Zealand originating from occupied Western Sahara. Today, one of the ships is offloading the valuable product at the harbour of Northport.
Today, 20 June 2010, the vessel Medi Imabari arrived Northport, New Zealand, to discharge phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.
The trade is in violation of international law.
The vessel first arrived Port of Tauranga, New Zealand, a few days ago, on the 18 June 2010, to discharge phosphates for the fertilizer firm Ballance Agri-Nutrients. The vessel then continued towards Marsden Point to offload more, after only 8 hours in Tauranga port. She is planned to end her mission of illegal phosphate transport on the 24th, as she docks at Southport with the remaining rock.
Medi Imabari seems to be managed/owned by Fukusei Sangyo, Imabari, Japan, and with IMO number 9339466. It is a quite big vessel, with 56.000 deadweight tonnes.
Also the New Zealand firm Ravensdown has received a vessel this week. On 15 June 2010, the vessel Triple Ever arrived Ravensdown's dock at Lyttleton, Christchurch. On 23rd June, the same vessel will arrive Port Otago, Dunedin, continuing towards Napier to dicharge the rest.
Triple Ever is owned by Astro Shipmanagement in Cebu, the Philippines. It is not the first time that this shipping company carries out such shipments. In 2008, it carried out a similar shipment, but to the competitor, Ballance. It has 52.454 deadweight tonnes, and IMO 9317121.
The UN undersecretary General for legal affairs stated in 2002 that the eploitation of natural resources from Western Sahara is in violation of international law if the Saharawis are not consulted. Neither the New Zealand government has consulted the Saharawis, nor the firms Ballance Agri-Nutrients or Ravensdown.
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.
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