Category Archives: General

Western Sahara – European Commission ‘ignoring’ of UN-recognised Polisario Front on EU-Morocco Agreement raised in Dáil

An Phoblacht

1 June 2017

John Hedges

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.

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Perpetuity can not overshadow the $ 200 million annual stolen phosphate

Equip Media EMSahara

9 June 2017

Equip Media

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

Western Sahara’s Hidden Democratic Promise

The Globe Post

19 June 2017

Elliott Schwebach

On the western coast of Northern Africa are a territory, a conflict, and a people that the world has mostly forgotten. Though many do not realize it, this level of neglect has serious ramifications for the state of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

As the right to national self-determination in Western Sahara has gone ignored and unfulfilled, a unique potential for the creation of a robust and functional democracy has also gone tragically unheeded.

In order to prevent future conflict and diminish possible openings for radicalization, it is important for world leaders committed to human rights and international stability to recognize the democratic potential of Western Sahara for what it is: a rare opportunity for low-cost, high-yield democratic transition and the best possible outcome for citizens in the region.

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Camel pizza: Sahrawi woman delivering fast food by Mercedes in the desert

Middle Eastern Eye

Eugenio G. Delgado

12 June 2017

A young female entrepreneur from a Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria has opened the first pizzeria run only by women.

Hindu Mani is the first Sahrawi woman to open a pizzeria in the Sahrawi refugee camps, around 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

TINDOUF, Algeria – As she pulls up in a 1989 white Mercedes Benz 190, all eyes are on 26-year-old Hindu Mani, a Sahrawi refugee.

Women driving in the Sahrawi refugee camps, 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf, is a rarity, but it is not the only thing Mani has gained notoriety for. With a staff of four women, Mani runs the only Sahrawi pizzeria in the camps.

Hindu Mani delivers pizzas with her 1989 white Mercedes Benz in Aswerd camp, around 50 kilometres from the Algerian city of Tindouf (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

“From the beginning I thought of [opening a pizzeria] with the idea of empowering young Sahrawi women who have been unable to [finish] their studies or work,” Mani said.

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Can the EU answer these questions on Western Sahara trade talks?

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

Natural resources and resistance in Western Sahara

Democracy in Action

Joanna Allen

22 May 2017

The Sahara, 

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.

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Report from three international observers at the Gdeim Izik trial

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

Phosphate shipment held up as South African court sorts theft claims

The South African High Court has banned the Cherry Blossom, and its $US5 million ($6.7m) cargo of phosphate rock, from leaving Port Elizabeth

The Australian

Ben Butler

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 –

What New Zealand Owes The Western Sahara

Huff Post

Michael Dobson

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 –