Police cars surrounding the harbour’s entry-point blocked the Saharawi fishermen from getting to their boats. The Saharawi’s ensuing protest led to confrontations with the Moroccan police, allegedly backed by Moroccan settlers who referred to the Saharawi fishermen as ‘strangers’.
Western Sahara Resource Watch has received mobile photos of the Saharawi being stopped by the police.
To settle things, the Moroccan appointed Governor to Boujdour, Mr. Elaarbi Etwaijar, had to come down. Etwaijar maintained that the Saharawi fishermen were excluded because they don’t possess the necessary licenses to fish. He went on to say that the Saharawi’s arriving in group also hindered the functioning of the port system.
Moroccan settlers were reported saying that they will expel ‘those strangers’ if the police doesn’t.
Eyewitnesses, such as the Saharawi ex-political prisoner Sidi Haiba Hbibi, state that Moroccan settlers were gathering in front of the harbour, carrying knifes and other weapons, yet the police made no attempt to stop them. Haiba Hbibi is convinced that this kind of behavior against the native Saharawi population will end in another bloodbath, similar to the recent events in the Gdaim Izik camps and the police’s crash of subsequent peaceful protests in Saharawi cities.
Another Saharawi who used to work in the fish market says that just last Saturday, 38 ton of octopus was exported from Boujdour. To him, this confirms the Moroccan authorities’ attrition of the natural resources of Western Sahara, without any benefit for the territory’s local population, the Saharawi.
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.
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.