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"No legitimacy to fishing treaty without Sahrawi's benefit", stated one of the banners when a demonstration took place in occupied Western Sahara yesterday. "Where is our fish, where is our sand, where are our phosphates?", stated another in Arabic (photo above)
The demonstration was organised in front of the offices of the Moroccan ministry of mines, by unemployed Sahrawis, families of Sahrawis who are detained after the protest wave last year, as well as workers of the phosphate mine in Western Sahara.
A large number of uniformed and plain clothed policemen encircled the area where the demonstrators had gathered. The organisers told that the Moroccan police prevented many demonstrators from arriving to the location where the demonstration took place.
The Sahrawis protested against the suppression, unemployment and the EU plunder of their territory.
Parts of Western Sahara were illegally occupied by Morocco in 1975. Spain and France is currently trying to push through a fisheries agreement in the European Union against the wishes of the people, and without trying to find out whether the Sahrawi people benefit from the agreement. The EU fisheries in Western Sahara is considered in violation of international law by the world's leading experts on the issue, such as former Legal Counsel to the UN, as well as the Legal Services of the European Parliament.
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.