Yearly Archives: 2014

A line in the sand: Fighting 40 years of exile in the desert of Western Sahara

by Nicole Crowder, photo editor for the Washington Post’s photography blog, In Sight.
10 December 2014
These striking images have been captured by photojournalist Tomaso Clavarino. In November 2014 he began documenting the Western Sahara military bases and cadets in the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army who are fighting for Sahrawi independence in what he describes as one of the “world’s least reported crises.”

View article and images

The Runner – Friday October 10th 2014 – New Council Chambers, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South

The Runner

Directed by Saeed Taji Farouky
An inspiring story that is now being shared with the world

Friday October 10th 2014
6.00pm for 6.30pm start

New Council Chambers, 2 Lygon St, Carlton South

The Runner is the story of world champion long-distance runner, Salah Hmatou Ameidan, and the journey that transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. He comes from Western Sahara, under Moroccan occupation since 1975. He is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for the cause of a free Western Sahara.

FiSahara 2014: sharing Sahrawi stories at the world’s most remote film festival

Stefan Simanowitz for Voices of Africa, part of the Guardian Africa network

As the great and the good of the world’s film industry prepared to descend on Cannes last week, a very different film festival was coming to a climax deep in the Sahara desert.

Far from the red-carpeted Mediterranean opulence of the Croisette, theSahara International Film Festival – known as FiSahara – took place in a sun-baked refugee camp deep in the Algerian desert. What it may have lacked in glittering VIP premieres and champagne-fuelled yacht parties, FiSahara made up for in spades with dune parties, camel races and multiplex-sized screenings beneath the stars.


Nowhere Land


After 40 years of fighting in the desert for their unrecognized country, the people of Western Sahara may be on the cusp of collapsing into extremism — and it could be the thing that saves them.


An anti-aircraft gun is mounted to the truck’s bed, where five young soldiers, dressed in loosely worn combat fatigues, the insignias torn off, are sitting with Soviet-manufactured guns strapped to their shoulders. Continue reading

Morocco’s King Slow to Deliver on Pro-Democracy Vows


RABAT, Morocco — A few weeks shy of his 15th anniversary as Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI was spotted on the streets of Tunisia in jeans and a T-shirt while on an official visit, living up to the King of Cool nickname given to him by the foreign news media.

Back in the kingdom, however, tensions have been rising. Pro-democracy activists and journalists have faced increasing repression, as the government tries to tame an opposition emboldened by the 2011 Arab revolutions.
Continue reading

P for Phosphate – P for Plunder – Morocco’s exports of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara and Australia’s controversial imports

A report, launched on 13 June by Western Sahara Resource Watch, reveals that Australia now has just one importer of the controversial phosphate: Incitec Pivot.

Incitec Pivot Limited is one of ten companies on the P for Plunder report’s red list of companies involved in this unethical trade, spending US$11million per annum on the high-grade phosphate to use in the production of superphosphate fertilisers. By coincidence, it is currently receiving yet another phosphate shipment from Western Sahara in Geelong on board the Western FedoraWesfarmers/CSBP is on the orange list of “companies under observation”. This is because although it has put its imports on hold for the past 2 years, it has reserved the right to make a commercial decision to resume if need be. Continue reading

Incitec caught in crossfire

GREGOR HEARD for Stock Journal

14 Jun, 2014

INCITEC Pivot (IPL) has come under fire from an independence group from the disputed territory of Western Sahara in Africa for continuing to buy phosphate from Morocco that originates from the north-west African state.

Kamal Fadel, a spokesman for the Polisario Front, a group dedicated to Western Saharan independence, claims IPL is in violation of international law by continuing to purchase phosphate from Morocco, which he claims extracts the phosphate from Western Sahara illegally. Continue reading

Statement of the Saharawi Republic concerning Incitec Pivot Limited and the trade in phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara

In 2013 IPL imported two shipments of phosphate mineral rock from occupied Western Sahara, valued at approximately $ AUS 12 million. Such shipments have been routinely protested by the SADR, and despite them, continue to arrive in Australia.  Western Sahara remains illegally occupied by Morocco, contrary to declarations of the United Nations General Assembly and a 1975 determination of the International Court of Justice.  No state recognizes Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara and all countries are under a positive duty to support the self-determination of the Saharawi people.  As the original inhabitants of the territory until its invasion, the Saharawi people have exclusive sovereign rights to phosphate, a non-renewable resource, and have continuously called for an end to its taking.      Continue reading

Press Release: Incitec Pivot continues plunder in Western Sahara

The Australian Fertiliser company, Incitec Pivot (IPL), has been involved in the exploitation of Western Sahara phosphates for many years in violation of international law.
IPL latest shipment of phosphates from Western Sahara is due to arrive at Geelong on 12 June 2014 on board the Cypriot flagged bulk carrier Western Fedora vessel.
The cargo is estimated to be worth about US $4 million.
The Polisario Front (Western Sahara independence movement) Representative to Australia, Fadel Kamal, “deplored IPL illegal and unethical exploitation of phosphates from Western Sahara through deals made with the authoritarian regime in Morocco which illegally occupies the Territory and oppresses its people.” Continue reading