One of the 2 importers of Western Sahara phosphates to New Zealand, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, have taken a political position in the question of Western Sahara. To the contrary of all states in the world, Ballance believes that Western Sahara is part of Morocco.
No state in the world would imagine calling Western Sahara part of "southern Morocco", apart from Morocco itself, that is.
The New Zealand government does not recognise the 1975 illegal annexation of the neighbour country. The occupation is condemned by the UN General Assembly and the International Court of Justice have found that Morocco's territorial claims on the territory is unfounded.
But in a presentation on the homepages of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, the company claim Western Sahara lies in "southern Morocco":
"The phosphate rock used in making superten comes from southern Morocco, specifically from a mine at Boucraâ, in the Western Sahara. This is an open pit mine, and is operated by the Office Chérifien des Phosphates. "Download the whole explanation here.
In the same presentation, there is a photo (right) with the picture text "Ballance staff visit Bou Craa". The name of the jpg picture file is "larry%20&warwiat%20bou%20craa300p".
Our guess: This is CEO of Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Larry Bilodeau, and Head of Ballance's Agro-Science departement, Warwick Catto. What are they doing on occupied land?
According to this press release
download) from the company on 5 December 2006, they have both visited "Morocco". The same lie has also been presented to the company's shareholders.
As a consequence of the occupation, a majority of the Western Sahara population had to flee their home country. Those Sahrawis who have remained in the occupied country are subjected to severe violations of human rights. While Morocco refuses to accept the population's right to self-determination, in violation of more than 100 UN resolutions, they could this year expect an income of around 1,5 billion USD from the Western Sahara phosphate exports.