Western Sahara Resource Watch
30 May 2017
Above: The tank vessel Key Bay seen in the harbor of El Aaiun on 6 January 2017 – the first confirmed transport of goods from Western Sahara into the EU after the landmark judgment of the CJEU.
On 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) judged that EU-Morocco trade deals cannot include the territory of Western Sahara.
Yet, the EU Commission has been pushing hard the EU member states to ignore that judgement. And in spite of vocal opposition from the UN-recognised representative of the people of Western Sahara – the Polisario Front – this morning, EU member states gave their green light to the Commission to start talks with Morocco for Western Sahara trade. Continue reading
Media release – Communiqué
The detention of a vessel carrying a cargo of phosphate rock destined for Canada from occupied Western Sahara.
Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara (18 May 2017).
The government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (the SADR) and the Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, announced today the detention of a second vessel carrying a cargo of phosphate rock illegally mined and sold from occupied Western Sahara. The motor vessel Ultra Innovation, was detained last night in Panama under court order while transiting the Panama Canal en route to Canada.
Democracy in Action
22 May 2017
my brothers and sisters,
is not for sale.
The green of my land,
makes me proud,
as the beauty of its pastures,
in the eyes of the good shepherd.
The phosphates you desire,
they will cause you harm,
not even if they were for sale,
will you be able to buy them.
So go the first lines of a poem by Fatma Brahim, who composed the work in 1976 as she and her daughters left the destroyed refugee camp of Um Dreiga, Western Sahara, after the Moroccan air force napalmed it. The poem, titled “Sahara is not for sale,” has become a classic revolutionary song for Saharawis, who are still pursuing their struggle for independence. It succinctly draws attention to a central aspect of the Western Sahara conflict, and an increasingly key demand made by Saharawi pro-independence activists: natural resources.
Rabat, Morocco 17 May 2017
To whomever it may concern,
STATEMENT CONCERNING THE PROCEEDINGS HELD AGAINST THE GROUP GDEIM IZIK AT THE APPEAL COURT OF SALE ON THE 15TH AND 16TH OF MAY 2017
The group of Gdeim Izik commenced Monday the 15th of May to express their discontent towards the court. The detainees held large protest within the court facilities, and demanded that the basic principles of a fair trial must be respected. The accused uttered that the proceedings against them constitutes nothing more than a theater, and they showed their discontent concerning the civil party which is taking an active part in the proceedings without being a formal part in the proceedings. The detainees withdrew themselves from the proceedings, along with their defense attorneys, on the 16th of May. Continue reading
The detention of a cargo of phosphate rock destined for New Zealand from occupied Western Sahara
Sydney, Australia 8 May 2017
Port for phospate export from the Bou Craa mine, near Laayoune Marsa Boujdour in Western Sahara, 11th March 2013. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).
On Monday May 1, the government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (the SADR) and the Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, took action to detain pursuant to a court order a cargo of phosphate illegally exported from occupied Western Sahara. The cargo, intercepted in South Africa while en route to Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited in New Zealand, has a value of more than $7 million (NZD).
The cargo remains aboard the Marshall Islands registered bulk carrier NM Cherry Blossom at anchor in a South African port. Ballance Agri-Nutrients has not requested the release of the cargo to enable the vessel to continue its journey to New Zealand. Continue reading
The South African High Court has banned the Cherry Blossom, and its $US5 million ($6.7m) cargo of phosphate rock, from leaving Port Elizabeth
9 May 2017
In South Africa, the independence dreams of Western Saharan tribespeople, 55,000 tonnes of phosphate and a ship called the Cherry Blossom have come together in court to create big problems for Australian chemicals and fertiliser group Incitec Pivot. Continue Reading –
10 May 2017
Mark Wynne is the CEO of Balance Agri-Nutrients, a New Zealand fertilizer company that imports hundreds of thousands of tonnes of phosphate every year from an illegal mine in a brutally occupied territory called Western Sahara. Fortunately for Mark, the Western Sahara is in north-west Africa, which is not a part of the world New Zealanders spend much time thinking about, despite the fact that our primary export industry is currently built upon on this deeply unethical trading relationship. Such ignorance means that when a vessel carrying Saharan phosphate is stopped – as happened last week in Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Mark can throw up his hands, claim that the Western Sahara situation is “very complex” and “deep-running” and (I’m not making this up) “geopolitical,” and thereby avoid having to explain to New Zealanders why it is okay that his company buys millions of dollars worth of illegal phosphate every year. Continue Reading –
The Cherry Blossom’s cargo is being fought over in South Africa by lawyers.
11 May 2017
Ongoing political issues behind a traditional supplier of phosphate rock for New Zealand fertiliser manufacturers are being exposed by the seizure of a fertiliser ship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Continue reading –
Samia Errazzouki and Patrick Markey
3 May 2017
RABAT/ALGIERS, A Moroccan phosphate ship has been held in a South African port by a complaint from Western Sahara Polisario movement that it transported cargo unlawfully from the disputed territory, a lawyer and Polisario said on Wednesday.
Western Sahara Resource Watch
3 May 2017
A bulk vessel was Tuesday this week detained in the South African port of Port Elizabeth for carrying phosphate rock plundered from occupied Western Sahara.
The vessel NM Cherry Blossom is stuck at anchor 4 kilometers off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, not allowed to continue on its journey to New Zealand continue reading