The Moroccan state company OCP has decided to drop defending the detained conflict mineral cargo in South Africa. The Saharawi people thus won a 5 million USD walk-over victory before the trial over phosphate rock ownership even had begun.
On 1 May 2017, the bulk vessel NM Cherry Blossom was detained in Port Elizabeth, on a stop-over to New Zealand. The vessel contained 55.000 tonnes of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
The UN has concluded that any exploitation of resources in Western Sahara would be illegal if the Saharawi people do not consent to it. Similarly, the Court of Justice of the EU on 21 December 2016 judged that trading with the territory would be illegal without such consent. However, Morocco, illegally occupying parts of Western Sahara since 1975, has kept the exports of Western Sahara phosphate rock. In 2016, Morocco earned over 200 million USD from the rock export from the territory.
The second biggest importing country is New Zealand, where two farmer co-operatives import from the occupied territory.
Bir Lehlu Western Sahara
13 July 2017
The government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (the SADR) and the Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, welcomed an announcement today that there would be no further defence of a case by Morocco’s state company OCP SA over a cargo of phosphate mineral rock detained under court order in South Africa.
The 55,000 tonne cargo had been illegally exported from occupied Western Sahara in April for delivery to the New Zealand fertilizer company Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited. Carried aboard the m.v. NM Cherry Blossom, it was detained on May 1 under a civil court order after an application by Saharawi authorities in South Africa’s High Court. On June 15, the Court determined that the claim should proceed to a full trial, noting that the Saharawi government had prima facie ownership of the cargo. A copy of the decision in Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Another v Owner and Charterers of the MV ‘NM Cherry Blossom’ and Others  ZAECPEHC 31 is available at: <www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAECPEHC/2017/31.html>.
1 June 2017
Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco
A EUROPEAN COMMISSION move to renegotiate its Association Agreement with Morocco on trade, political co-operation and development issues without involving the people of Western Sahara and their UN-recognised political representatives, the Polisario Front, has been raised in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) by Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe with the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister.
Morocco has occupied much of resource-rich Western Sahara since 1975. Most of the population has been expelled by force, many to camps in the Algerian desert where 165,000 refugees still live. United Nations resolutions have called for the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people. The United Nations considers the Polisario Front to be the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people.
Continue reading at An Phoblacht
Equip Media EMSahara
9 June 2017
Monday, June 5th 2017. The trial of the Saharawi political prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group opened before the Court of Appeal in Salé – Morocco. activists for the independence of Western Sahara and Human rights defenders , but also the lawyers by their absence protest against this unfair trial whose first hearings were held on March 13th 2017 after months of postponements.
On June 6th, in the space authorized for the Saharawi demonstrations, surrounded by the hubbub of Moroccan sound systems friends of Sid Ahmed Lamjayed sentenced to life imprisonment expressed their support and demands, among 80 other demonstrators.
On the panels we could read “Agrium shame on you”, “The phosphate is Sahrawi, and it belongs to our people”.
Sid Ahmed Lamjayed is the president of the CSPRON The committee to support the peace settlement and to protect the natural resources in Western Sahara. Continue reading