Several EU Member States have issued statements indicating their support to Council's decision to appeal the European Court’s decision to annul the EU’s agricultural agreement with Morocco. But why is that, really?
In December 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled the trade agreement between Morocco and the European Union in so far as it was applied in Western Sahara. The Council of the European Union has now formally appealed that decision. The reasons for the appeal are still not public.
WSRW has asked Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company to share the legal opinions that supposedly prove its activities in occupied Western Sahara are lawful with the legitimate owners of the territory’s phosphate reserves; the Saharawi people.
"A hostile act likely to perpetuate the conflict and colonialism in Western Sahara". The Peace and Security Council of the African Union reiterates its position on the illegal exploitaiton of Western Sahara's natural resources.
The municipality of Gladsaxe, Denmark, has terminated a supply contract for de-icing salt due to its connections to Western Sahara.
WSRW’s repeated questions on the organisation’s structure or financial backers for the contested event on occupied land remain unanswered.
One of the biggest purchasers of Western Sahara phosphates during the years of occupation, the Lithuanian fertilizer producer Lifosa, has confirmed to WSRW that it will halt all further imports from the territory.
"Coordination of Unemployed Saharawi demand benefits from the territory’s natural resources. Our resources can provide us with jobs", banners on the streets of El Aaiun read during yesterday's protests.
Coop, one of Switzerland's largest grocery chains, has announced it will cease to provide tomatoes from Western Sahara from 2017 onwards.
In December 2015, the US United Methodist Church announced it had divested from 39 companies. Five of those are involved in occupied Western Sahara.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has confirmed that it will not provide financial support to projects located in occupied Western Sahara.
As protests against Morocco's denial of the Saharawis' social and economic human rights have become daily news in occupied Western Sahara, eye-witnesses report a police siege targeting the hunger striking Saharawi graduates.
A New Year's gift of an estimated US $3,7 million. That's what Australia's Incitec Pivot paid the Moroccan government for its first 2016 shipment of phosphate rock sourced in occupied Western Sahara.
The French multinational oil company has announced that it is no longer pursuing oil search offshore Western Sahara. "More good news for the Saharawi people. We urge the remaining oil companies to follow suit", stated WSRW.
Danish-German Siemens Wind Power and Italian Enel Green Power have won the tender to construct five wind farms in Morocco. Only, two of planned farms are located outside of Morocco, and inside occupied Western Sahara. WSRW had warned them from taking part in the tender.
Several Saharawis were allegedly injured in a demonstration in El Aaiun yesterday, in which youth demanded employment opportunities on their own land. Among them a 34 year old law graduate.
The decision to annul the trade agreement between the EU and Morocco was this week-end welcomed by the AU. "An important step in the global efforts aimed at ensuring that the natural resources of Western Sahara, as non-self-governing territory, are protected for the benefit of its own people", stated the AU.
The EU-Moroccan agreement that was annulled by the Court of Justice of the EU yesterday was highly controversial even at the time when it was approved in 2012. Here is the story behind that approval.
The European Court of Justice has this morning ordered the annulment of a trade agreement between Morocco and the European Union since it includes the territory of Western Sahara. "A landmark decision in the history of the occupation of Western Sahara", states WSRW. Press conference in Brussels, Friday.
Former UN officials and Danish civil society strongly critical to the plans of Vestas to bid for controversial energy projects in occupied Western Sahara.
At the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Morocco’s invasion into Western Sahara, the Moroccan king delivered a speech that leaves no doubt about his colonial intentions. Major lucrative projects are planned, and those who oppose them “will have to assume the responsibilities for their decisions”.
The companies that are involved in Morocco’s oil quest in occupied Western Sahara and their hired lobbyists have developed their own unique discourse to divert attention from the obvious fact that their activities are manifestly illegal and immoral. We decode the most common lies for you in this section. A crash-course in interpretative translation of Blood Oil Talk.
Despite the protests from Saharawis, Morocco has to this day continued its illegal oil programme, through the Moroccan state owned oil company Office national des hydrocarbures et des mines, ONHYM. Seven oil and gas licences have so far been awarded in Western Sahara. The names of the blocks depicted on the map below use ONHYM's spelling. Scroll further down for more information about each block and its operators.
In refering the case on the questionable legality of UK imports from Western Saharan products to the European Court of Justice, the UK Judge stated that "there is an arguable case of a manifest error by the [European] Commission in understanding and applying international law relevant to these agreements.”
... and finds the ongoing exploration and exploitation of the territory's resources in violation of international law.
A UN Treaty Body has, for the first time, issued a set of strong recommendations pertaining to Western Sahara while reviewing Morocco's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
LATEST (16.10.2015): Morocco rejects UN recommendations.
Massive numbers of Saharawi refugees gathered last weekend to send a clear message to Irish oil company San Leon Energy which is looking for oil in their occupied homeland: "San Leon: go home". Find high resolution footage of the protest, free of charge.
The journal Global Change, Peace & Security last week published a series of articles on natural resources in Western Sahara.
WSRW has received footage of the drilling operation to take place in the territory under Moroccan occupation.
The small UK company Xplorer PLC is looking for more capital to buy into the highly controversial Boujdour Offshore Shallow permit in occupied Western Sahara.
The UK/Irish company San Leon is planning to drill in Western Sahara in a few weeks from now, even though UN says further exploration is illegal. WSRW condemns the plans.
Read also: Western Sahara is part of Morocco, San Leon states before drilling
See declaration on Australian imports made by the industry association.
The Norwegian insurance company Storebrand pushed Jinhui to stop transporting phosphates from occupied Western Sahara in 2008.
"No oil drilling should take place in the territory until the Saharawis have had the chance to exercise their right to self-determination and have freely and fairly decided the political status of their homeland", the appeal to the Security Council writes. Read the full letter, and list of signatures, here.
One of the biggest shipping companies in Norway calls the arrival of a vessel to occupied Western Sahara "an unfortunate mistake", and guarantees to media it will never happen again.
All Swedish government funds have now divested from Canadian company Agrium Inc, due to its phosphate imports from occupied Western Sahara. According to the fund's Ethical Council, Agrium cannot prove that the phosphate exploitation is done in accordance with the wishes and the interests of the Saharawi people.
The New Zealand Fertiliser Association, representing the controversial importing companies in New Zealand is quoted by national TV that they are "aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union this week asked the UN Security Council to intervene in stopping the plunder of Western Sahara's natural resources. AU sends a warning message to companies taking part in the plunder.
Any further oil exploration in Western Sahara is illegal unless the Saharawis want it themselves, according to the UN. The companies involved do not care.
See the vessel Frederikke Selmer arriving New Zealand with phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.
WSRW launches today its overview report containing all clients that have last year purchased phosphate rock from Western Sahara. The report details all volumes, values and shipments relating to Morocco’s exports from the occupied territory during 2014.
In celebration of International Women's Day, yesterday 8 March 2014, the women of the Saharawi refugee camps held a protest against foreign companies that are complicit in Morocco's plunder of their occupied homeland: Western Sahara.