WSRW to Lifosa/EuroChem, 6 March 2018
Printer version    
6 March 2018
Brussels

To the attention of Mr Andrey Ilyin
Chief Financial Officer of EuroChem

Re. Lifosa AB’s position with regard to imports of phosphate rock from Western Sahara

Dear Mr Ilyin,

We have the honour to again present you our compliments. We are in the process of writing our annual overview report of the Western Sahara phosphate trade for 2017.

Though we’ve not observed any shipments from Western Sahara to Klaipeda in 2017, Lifosa AB’s legacy as one of the bigger importers of the contentious mineral in recent years means that the company will be featured in the report. As such, we would be grateful for your answers and comments to the questions included below, allowing us to accurately reflect your company’s position with regard to phosphate imports from the last colony in Africa.

The last shipment of phosphate rock from Western Sahara with destination Klaipeda, dates back to October 2016. This cargo of 75,000 tonnes went against EuroChem’s statement to us, of 12 February 2016, that “… the Group does not intend to purchase phosphate rock from Western Sahara in 2016 or at any time over the foreseeable future.” Lifosa admitted to the shipment, and even went as far as denying the above quote.

As stated in our previous letters to you, it is our firm conviction that it is not in the interest of Lifosa to be associated with the trade of a conflict mineral from a Non-Self-Governing Territory that is the subject of a UN-led peace process. That Morocco’s claims of ownership of the phosphate mines in Western Sahara is unfounded, has recently been exemplified by the case of the NM Cherry Blossom, a bulk carrier transporting 55,000 of Western Sahara phosphate rock that was detained on 1 May 2017 in South Africa. The South African High Court ruled on 23 January 2018 that the Saharawi Government was the rightful owner of the cargo aboard the vessel, and that Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company OCP SA or its subsidiary in Western Sahara Phosphates de Boucraa were never lawfully entitled to sell the phosphate rock.

The case echoes the principles underpinning two recent judgments by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which conclude that Western Sahara is a territory that is “separate and distinct” from Morocco, and that it would thus be unlawful for the EU to conclude any agreement with Morocco for Western Sahara, as that would be a violation of the right to self-determination. The Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice in his Opinion of 10 January 2018 underlines that the right to self-determination is a human right, and that this right is being violated by entering into deals without taking into account the right of the people to consent.

We would be grateful for an answer to the following questions:
1. Can you confirm that Lifosa AB imported nor purchased no phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara in calendar year 2017?
2. What are the reasons that no phosphate rock from Western Sahara was imported by Lifosa AB in 2017?
3. Has the long-term agreement between Lifosa AB and OCP SA or its subsidiary Phosphates de Boucraa expired? If not, when does it expire?
4. If the agreement covering phosphate rock imports from Western Sahara has expired, will Lifosa AB consider sharing a copy of the agreement with the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr Horst Köhler, and with the Saharawi liberation movement, the Polisario Front?
5. Will the company issue a formal statement saying it will not import phosphate rock from Western Sahara as long as the conflict has not been settled in accordance with the applicable principled under international law, notably the right to self-determination?

Thank you in advance for considering our concerns, and we look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you’d require any further information on any of the above-raised issues: we’d be happy to respond.

Best regards,

Sara Eyckmans
Coordinator
Western Sahara Resource Watch
coordinator@wsrw.org




    

Top


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