From the end of this year, 2 of 3 global importers of Western Sahara's controversial conflict minerals are from New Zealand. This week, locals protested in the city of Dunedin.
A sad Human Rights day for the Saharawi people. Just hours after the resignation of the leading MEP, the European Parliament's International Trade Committee backed extending EU-Morocco trade to occupied Western Sahara.
Amid investigations into potential breach of code of conduct due to her membership on the Board of pro-Morocco lobby group, MEP Patricia Lalonde resigned today as the European Parliament's rapporteur on the proposed extension of the EU-Morocco trade deal into occupied Western Sahara.
According to the EU Council, it cannot make public a legal opinion on a future EU-Morocco trade deal in occupied Western Sahara as that would "carry the risk compromising the capacity of reaching an agreement on the dossier".
The global match-maker of private accommodation has delisted providers in Israeli settlements and Crimea, but seem to apply different standards to similar situations of occupation. Saharawis object.
95% of the energy needed by Morocco to plunder the phosphates of Western Sahara is delivered via SiemensGamesa windmills. The company has now prolonged its service contract for the controversial windmills for another 15 years, while continuing to refuse to comment on Saharawi consent.
The EU Ministers for Competitiveness have discretely approved the proposed EU-Morocco fish deal, that is intended to apply to occupied Western Sahara. Sweden was the only Member State to oppose, citing the lack of consent of the people of Western Sahara.
BREAKING: the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that the EU-Morocco Aviation Agreement does not apply to Western Sahara.
Changes could soon take place in the ownership of a controversial oil block in occupied Western Sahara. New player: Wolverine Energy and Infrastructure from Canada.
A letter signed by 95 Saharawi civil society organisations appeals to the EU Parliament and Council "to prevent EU plundering of a people's fish in Western Sahara".
The UK-French company Vigeo Eiris certified and defended a Moroccan-Saudi energy project in occupied Western Sahara. WSRW calls on the board to engage on the matter.
The Ambassadors of the EU Member States have just now voted in favour of the proposed EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement and Protocol, that is intended to apply to occupied Western Sahara. A final vote by the EU's Fisheries Ministers is imminent.
The EU's Foreign Affairs branch claims to Member States and the European Parliament that the Western Sahara liberation movement does not want to meet to discuss a new EU-Moroccan fisheries agreement in Western Sahara. Polisario uttered its deep frustration over this misrepresentation in a letter to the EEAS.
Major conflict of interest arises following revelations that the European Parliament's rapporteur on the Western Sahara trade file is Board Member of a pro-Morocco lobby group.
Saharawi refugees protested against the Swiss-Swedish company's contract for the Moroccan government on occupied land.
Previous confidential EU legal opinions on trade with and fisheries in occupied Western Sahara were later found to be wrong by the EU Court of Justice. WSRW has today requested the EU Council to publish the current legal documents.
While the EU Member States have not yet concluded on the newly proposed EU-Morocco fisheries agreement for waters offshore occupied Western Sahara, the Commission is already pushing the European Parliament to get to work.
The Swiss-Swedish technological giant ABB got contracted to build the infrastructure that is set to connect a new wind farm in occupied Western Sahara to Morocco's national electricity grid.
The text of the new EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement - which includes Western Sahara in its geographic scope but has been negotiated exclusively between the EU and Morocco - has now been presented to the European Parliament for approval.
WSRW challenges these 23 MEPs to read the Opinion they favoured, and come up with one solid argument to back up their vote. The 23 suggest including occupied Western Sahara in a trade agreement with Morocco.
The Moroccan government is now using all possible arguments to pull individual Euro-parliamentarians in their direction. At stake: the extension of a new EU-Morocco trade agreement to the territory it holds under occupation.
Members of the European Parliament request more clarity before voting on the Commission's proposed trade deal for Western Sahara. Meanwhile, 93 Western Sahara civil society groups lament the Parliament rapporteur's lack of diligence on the file.
During the business summit set up by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Morocco (CFCIM) in occupied Western Sahara, French companies could sign contracts on the spot – “putting them at risk of financial and reputational damages”, says WSRW.
A briefing distributed by Moroccan officials in the corridors of the European Parliament claims, among other things, that “signing an agreement with the EU that does not include the Sahara, would be perceived as an implicit recognition of Morocco’s non-sovereignty over this territory”.
WSRW has asked the EU Commission to clarify how the application of its proposed trade deal for Western Sahara to only the Moroccan-occupied part of the territory, is in line with its duty to respect territorial integrity.
The Irish organisation GLAN today filed a complaint against the Irish/UK oil company San Leon Energy for violating the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The representation of the people of Western Sahara has lodged complaint against the banks BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, the insurance company Axa Assurance, airline Transavia and tourist agency UCPA over the accusation of colonisation.
The European Parliament's Legal Service has concluded that it is "unclear" whether a proposed EU-Morocco trade agreement for Western Sahara is in line with EU law. Read the Legal Opinion here.
"In view of the part my city played in the history of colonialism in Germany, I cannot accept that economic activities in my city violate international law", the President of the Bremen Parliament wrote the all German Member of the European Parliament.
The mission report of Patricia Lalonde, the European Parliament's rapporteur on the proposed EU-Morocco trade deal for Western Sahara, is remarkably void of facts and figures. WSRW retorts.
In spite of having multiple reasons against the deal - including an EU Court ruling - the rapporteur of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee recommends Parliament to consent to including Western Sahara into the EU-Morocco trade deal.
Today, Polisario filed a criminal complaint against French seafood producer Chancerelle for aiding and abetting Morocco in the transfer of its civil population in occupied Western Sahara, economic discrimination and false labeling.
The two New Zealand companies Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, now the only two clients of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara in the world, are defending their purchases on social media. Here is what is wrong with what they claim.
A landmark decision has been made. The large-scale exports of conflict phosphates from occupied Western Sahara to the United States will stop this year.
Frozen fish from El Aaiún in occupied Western Sahara is exported on a weekly basis to Las Palmas on the Canary Islands, via a Royal Air Maroc commercial flight.
More fish for more money - that seems to be the gist of the new EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement
A group of Europarliamentarians is about to travel to occupied parts of Western Sahara to assess whether including the territory in the trade deal with Morocco is a good idea.
Despite promises of moving its triennial conference from El Aaiun, occupied Western Sahara, to a city in Morocco proper, ISOCARD now states it will not do so, because "it has no power to change the city" - indicating the organisation's lack of backbone to go against its Moroccan hosts.
"Sweden is not satisfied that the outcome of the consultation process can be said to constitute the free and informed consent of the people of Western Sahara", the country formally explained its abstention in the EU Council vote on the Western Sahara trade scheme.
New York based private equity firm, Brookstone Partners, is reportedly set to build a highly controversial 900 megawatt wind farm in Dakhla, in the south of occupied Western Sahara.
New documentation shows that only 4 out of 75 purse seiners that the Moroccan government have licenced to fish on the pelagic stocks off Dakhla, occupied Western Sahara, are controlled by Saharawis.
For the third time, the highest Court of the European Union has confirmed that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara. In its new ruling dated 19 July 2018, the Court confirms that the EU's fisheries agreement with Morocco cannot be applied to the territory.
With all multinational oil companies in occupied Western Sahara having abandoned their activities, the Moroccan government is trying to catch interest of new investors for further illegal oil exploration. Russian and Chinese state-owned companies, commissioned by a UK firm, are behind a large exploration programme.
One of the most important companies in the controversial phosphate business in Western Sahara is ending its involvement. Innophos Holding's exit might lead to the US totally terminating its decade-long imports from the occupied territory.
Confirmed: the EU and Morocco have concluded their negotiations for a new Fisheries Agreement and Protocol of Implementation. The waters adjacent to the occupied Western Sahara will be expressly included.
A consignment of 3000 tonnes of fishmeal that was loaded in occupied Western Sahara is at present being unloaded in the port of Bremen, Germany. "How does this fit with the ECJ judgment on trade with Western Sahara?", WSRW asks.
Read a transcript of the presentation of Mr Vincent Piket, head of the Maghreb Division at the EU External Action Service, at the ALDE Seminar on the EU's relations with Morocco, held on 25 April 2018 in the European Parliament.
Several EU-flagged vessels have blatantly ignored and violated the EU Court judgment invalidating the EU-Morocco fish agreement in Western Sahara. Here they are.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States have today approved the proposed amendment to the Trade Protocol with Morocco to include occupied Western Sahara, in spite of the lack of consent from the people of the territory - as ordered by the EU Court of Justice. The European Parliament is yet to cast its vote.
In case of reasonable doubt on the true origin of the product - Morocco or Western Sahara - EU customs should "request verification from the competent Moroccan authorities", says the EU Commission.
The Moroccan government undertook a 1002 Km² seismic study offshore occupied Western Sahara in the first part of 2018.
The Council on Ethics of the Swedish government pension fund explains in its latest annual report for 2017 that it had engaged in a dialogue with Glencore regarding Western Sahara – and that this dialogue now is finished.
As the vote on the European Parliament's report on the UN General Assembly revealed, MEPs are split on the inclusion of a reference to the EU Court of Justice in relation to Western Sahara.
German Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office stresses importance of complying with Judgment of EU Court of Justice in relation to Western Sahara trade.
No less than 93 Saharawi groups have called on the EU institutions to respect the will of the people of Western Sahara when negotiating trade or fisheries agreements that will affect their occupied land.
The European Commission is trying to push through a new trade agreement with Morocco for the territory of Western Sahara, in disregard of the Court of Justice of EU judgment of 2016. WSRW has summarised why its approach is wrong.
€84 million in return for fishing licenses - is what Rabat threw on the table in the EU-Morocco negotiations for a new Fisheries Protocol. Earlier this year, the EU Court of Justice invalidated the application of the EU-Morocco fish arrangement to Western Sahara - where 91.5% of the EU's fishing activities under the deal take place.
For decades, a small office in London shipped phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara to Australia/New Zealand. After one of the world's biggest shipping companies took over the office, the controversial operation will now be closed.
The EU Commission today received heavy critique from the European Parliament for its suggestion to include occupied Western Sahara in a trade deal with Morocco.
On 15 June 2018, Polisario announced that a new case has been launched regarding the EU-Morocco plans to cooperate on fisheries in the waters of occupied Western Sahara. In the EU-Morocco talks, the EU has so far ignored the two judgments from EU Court of Justice on Western Sahara.
On 24 April 2018, the liberation movement of Western Sahara brought action against the EU Council for concluding an aviation agreement with Morocco that includes the territory of Western Sahara.
The EU foreign affairs department (EEAS) claims it has consulted Polisario on the trade deal for Western Sahara that it has negotiated with Morocco. But the email correspondence between Polisario and the EEAS documents that the Commission's claim is a lie.
83% of the groups that the EU Commission claims have participated in a 'consultation' regarding Western Sahara trade, have either never been asked to take part - or have not taken part - in any consultation process. "We condemn the EU for so gravely misusing our name, and the names of other civil society organisations, to legitimize an illegal trade agreement", WSRW states.
The EU Commission has today presented its suggested trade arrangement for occupied Western Sahara, which still requires the approval of the EU Member States and the EU Parliament.
The European Commission has ignored to seek consent from the people of Western Sahara as it negotiated a trade agreement with occupier Morocco. Saharawi protestors yesterday expressed anger over the EU's disrespect for the rule of law.
More and more investors are kicking Nutrien from their portfolios for its imports of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara. But the company shows no indication of its stated intent to phase-out the controversial imports from by the end of this year.
Instead of seeking 'consent' from the 'people' of Western Sahara as the ECJ has asked, the EU has 'consulted' Moroccan political bodies, and state companies that violate international law and defend the Moroccan occupation.
The EU Court's rulings distinguishing Western Sahara from Morocco seem to have fallen on deaf ears in Brussels, as representatives of the Commission insist on proceeding as before.
The international camel research network ISOCARD has instructed its Moroccan partners to move the location of its upcoming conference from Western Sahara to Morocco.
Read type-outs of the presentation of Mr Vincent Piket, head of the Maghreb Division at the EU External Action Service, at the ALDE Seminar on the EU's relations with Morocco, held on 25 April 2018 in the European Parliament.
Morocco shipped over 1.5 million tonnes of phosphate out of occupied Western Sahara in 2017, to the tune of over $142 million. But the number of international importers of the contentious conflict mineral is waning, WSRW's annual report shows.
A sealed bid auction to buy the 55,000 tonnes of Western Sahara phosphate rock onboard the ship seized by the South African authorities is about to conclude.
In disregard of two EU Court rulings, the EU Member States have today authorized the EU Commission to negotiations with Morocco for a new fisheries protocol that will also cover occupied Western Sahara.
Both the FAO and OIE have denied funding or even taking part in ISOCARD's 2018 conference, scheduled to take place in El Aaiun, occupied Western Sahara, in November this year.
A case study on Morocco's policy reforms regarding renewable energy by a UN agency completely ignores the fact that a significant share of Morocco's planned production will come from occupied Western Sahara, as it fails to even distinguish between the two territories.
Under a proposed agreement between EU and Morocco on so-called 'Geographical Indications', camel milk and camel cheese from occupied Western Sahara could receive protection as a Moroccan product.
The EU Commission proposes to amend the EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol ... but still wishes to apply it to the waters of Western Sahara, in spite of two EU Court judgments invalidating such practice.
WSRW has today sent a letter to OPEC, asking the organisation to clarify its position on Western Sahara following its press release on the controversial Crans Montana Forum conference which OPEC claims takes place in "Dakhla, Morocco".
Kosmos Energy has decided to keep their website defending Western Sahara oil search - even after they have left the territory.
The German multinational cement giant HeidelbergCement owns a cement factory in Western Sahara. WSRW enquires about who gave the company permission to operate in the occupied territory.
The US company Innophos admits in its latest annual report to be purchasing the conflict mineral through PotashCorp.
The Government of South African today issued a strong statement of support for International Humanitarian Law in Western Sahara during a meeting in Geneva today.
Golden Ocean regrets shipment of phosphates from Western Sahara and changes future contracts to avoid new transports from the occupied territory.
The EU Court this morning issued a ruling stating that the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement is only valid if it does not apply to the waters of Western Sahara.