Recommended reading
Published 22 October 08


In a legal opinion dated 29 January 2002, UN under-secretary General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Consel, ambassador Hans Corell, provided an overview of international law applicable to mineral resource extraction in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Read it here. At a conference in South Africa, 5 December 2008,, and later in the publication New Routes (2010), Hans Corell elaborated on his letter to the Security Council and how it has been misinterpreted after 2002.

Norwegian government has on a few occasions blacklisted companies operating in Western Sahara from its national sovereign wealth fund, calling such operations "particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms". These assessments encompass legal, ethical and political concerns. Read for instance this 18 page explanation of a divestment from phosphate importing companies here (2011-2012).

European Parliament’s Legal Service concluded in 2009 that EU fisheries operations in Western Sahara were in violation of international law. The strong text demands respect of international law vis-à-vis EU fisheries in Western Sahara and was delivered on 13 July 2009. See also the parliament legal opinion from 2006.

Jeffrey Smith, Canadian barrister, made the following analysis: "The maritime jurisdiction of Western Sahara and the duty of states to preserve Saharan fisheries resources pending self-determination". Read it here.

Simone King wrote her 2005 dissertation at the School of Oriental and African Studies on "The fate of Occupied Territory: Recognition, Non-Recognition, Self-Determination and Prolonged Occupation", based on the case-studies of East Timor, Palestine, Namibia and Western Sahara. Read it here.

For an outline of the oil exploration activities in occupied Western Sahara, we recommend Raphaël Fišera's dissertation at the Deusto University of Bilbao. Read it here.

Daniela Hinze's 2003 master thesis at the Freie Universität of Berlin considers the impact of economical interests on the political process towards self-determination in Western Sahara: "Der Westsahara-Konflikt –Die Bedeutung von wirtschaftlichen Interessen sowie politischen Entscheidungen für das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Sahrauis und den Friedensprozess". Read it here.

The Nordic Institute for Africa (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet) has a brochure titled "The Western Sahara Conflict - The Role of Natural Resources in Decolonization", edited by Claes Olsson. It can be ordered through the Institute or read it here.

Fondation France Libertés/AFASPA, mission to Western Sahara October - November 2002. Report of the International mission of inquiry in Western Sahara from 28 October to 5 November 2002, incl. economic exploitation of the non-autonomous territory
Political StatementsLetter from SADR president Mohamed Abdelazziz, addressed to Tony Blair, 13 September 2005. Read it here.

Letter from Mohamed Sidati, Polisario Representative to the EU, addressed to Joseph Borg, EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, 18 May 2005. Read it here.

Letter from Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, SADR Minister for Foreign Affairs, addressed to Kristian Foss, Norwegian Minister of Finances. Read it here.

Telecom cables laid in occupied waters

The French company Alcatel Submarine Networks SpA, partially owned by Nokia, has laid telecom cables in occupied Western Sahara. 

19 April 21

Report reveals clients of Western Sahara’s conflict mineral

India and New Zealand stand out as the main importers of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara, in WSRW’s newest annual report on the controversial trade. 

13 April 21

These are the questions that Siemens will not answer

At its Annual General Meeting, Siemens Gamesa was as evasive as ever with regard to core questions about the company's involvement in occupied Western Sahara.

01 April 21

Shipping company responses to the report P for Plunder 2020

The WSRW report P for Plunder 2021 to be published in April 2021 will contain information on all 22 vessels that departed occupied Western Sahara from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

22 March 21