Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) 28 June 2016
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has announced it has excluded Kosmos Energy and Cairn Energy from its portfolios because of their oil search in Western Sahara. Approx. 54 million dollars of shares were sold.
“The Council recommends the exclusion (of Cairn and Kosmos)… due to an unacceptable risk of the companies contributing to serious violations of fundamental ethical norms through their hydrocarbon exploration offshore Western Sahara,” the council said.
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Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016
Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA), June 2016
With the death on 31 May 2016 of Mohamed Abdelaziz, Saharawi president, the people of Western Sahara have lost a major figure in their recent history.
He was one of the founders of their independence movement, the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro) in 1973, fighting first against the Spanish coloniser, then in 1975 battling the Moroccan invader. He has been at its helm since the inaugural Polisario leader, El Ouali Mustapha Sayed, died in action in 1976. (cont.)
Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976
Following a long illness President Mohamed Abdelaziz died on 31 May 2016.
A period of 40 days’ mourning has been announced, at the end of which a new president will be elected by an extraordinary general meeting of the Polisario Front. In the meanwhile, the speaker of the Saharawi National Council (Parliament), Khatri Addouh, will act as interim leader of the Polisario Front.
This is the end of an era and could be a turning point, but for now we simply assess the enormous contribution made by Mohamed Abdelaziz in the course of the past 40 years. As a young man….(cont.)
Moroccan protesters in the capital Rabat, on March 13, 2016, during a demonstration against statements made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Photo: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
Dominic Dudley, Forbes Business, Foreign Affairs
19 May 2016
On May 18, the Moroccan government summoned the US ambassador in Rabat, Dwight Bush, for a dressing-down over the State Department’s most recent human rights report on the country, as it wages diplomatic battles on several fronts over its occupation of Western Sahara.
A Sahrawi woman holds a Polisario Front flag during a ceremony to mark 40 years since it proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Photo by Getty Images.
Dr Claire Spencer, Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 16 May 2016
The Western Sahara conflict has eluded resolution for so long that the principles underlying United Nations-led efforts to seek an enduring outcome have become muddied almost to the point of cancelling each other out. Forty-one years since its inception, diplomatic language rather than arms has become the medium for the continuation of the dispute. The annual highlight is the renewal of the UN Security Council’s peacekeeping and monitoring mission …(cont.)
Chatham House article >>
Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy, 15 April 2016
BY TOM O’BRYAN
Ban Ki-Moon has sparked a diplomatic crisis in Western Sahara… but a crisis may be just what’s needed after decades of deadlock. Ban Ki-Moon’s criticism of Morocco’s 40-year “occupation” of Western Sahara during his visit to the territory on March 8, 2016 has sparked the most serious crisis in the region in decades. Morocco denounced the Secretary General’s “biased” rhetoric, and“irreversibly” expelled U.N. peacekeepers stationed in Western Sahara. .(cont.)
Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy article >>
Annie Slemrod, Middle East Editor, IRIN
JERUSALEM, 14 April 2016
“Of all of the world’s forgotten conflicts…that of Western Sahara, with its refugees tucked away in a remote desert, ranks as one of the most consigned to oblivion. But last month, the world’s top diplomat, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, brought the issue to temporary attention with a rather undiplomatic move. After visiting part of the disputed territory, which is claimed by both Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, he called Morocco’s presence there an “occupation.”…(cont.)
IRIN article >>
Phosphate mine at Bou Craa factory of the National Moroccan phosphate company (OCP) situated in Western Sahara, . Reuters/Youssef Boudlal
International Business Times, 15 April 2016
Fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot Ltd. (ASX:IPL) is the last Australian importer of rock phosphate from the disputed territory of Western Sahara, a report has found. In 2015, Incitec Pivot imported 63,000 tonnes of phosphate worth US$7.48 million and constituting one third of its superphosphate fertiliser mix. “We have been in touch with Incitec Pivot for many years with letters explaining the issue to them and meeting them, but we haven’t been successful in convincing them to end their illegal exploitation of this resource,” said Kamal Fadel, Australian representative of SADR’s governing party, the Polisario Front, and head of the SADR Petroleum and Mining Authority. (cont…)
IBT article >>
By Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion, April 06 2016
Black Agenda Report, Global Research, Center for Research on Globalization
In his recent article, “Just Say No to Another Failed State,” published by Foreign Policy, Lester Munson claims that the only solution to the long standing issue between Western Sahara and Morocco is autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty. Problematically, however, the article lacks context and is overly simplistic, is strewn with inaccuracies and errors, and is heavily tinged with paternalistic overtones.
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RNZ, Broadcast, 3 April 2016
A few weeks back UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the Western Sahara as an occupied land that had been forgotten. Morocco promptly expelled UN staff from the region in protest. Stephen Zunes is the co-author of Western Sahara War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution – one of the only books on the struggle by the indigenous Sahrawi people for independance.
Listen to Prof Stephen Zunes broadcast >>