Today, the EU Court of Justice has struck a blow to the EU’s practice of applying trade and fisheries agreements with Morocco to occupied Western Sahara.
The press release from the Court today specifically states that Polisario is able to represent the Saharawi people before European courts.
The right of the Saharawi people to consent has not been respected, the court stated. It states that the Union could not have replaced the “consent” of the Saharawi people with the argument of “benefits”.
Women at a traditional festival at the Boujdour camp near Tindouf, Algeria Photograph by Nicolas Niarchos
The New Yorker, December 29, 2018
By Nicolas Niarchos
December 29, 2018 John Bolton and a former German President have helped spur the first negotiations over the Western Sahara in six years.
……”Since Bolton’s appointment, in March, there has been a flurry of activity regarding the Western Sahara conflict at the U.N. and in the State Department. “There are two Americans who really focus a lot on the Western Sahara: one’s Jim Baker, the other’s me,” Bolton told me. “I think there should be intense pressure on everybody involved to see if they can’t work it out.” This spring, at the insistence of the U.S. and to the chagrin of Moroccan and French diplomats, the U.N. peacekeeping mandate for the Western Sahara was extended by only six months rather than a year…”
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 →
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.
Kosmos gives geopolitical arguments to operate in occupied Western Sahara, while Cairn Energy refuses to answer why it operates in what they call “Morocco”. WSRW has sought clarifications from the duo.
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW), 27 June 2016
In recent months, several investment firms have relinquished their interests in companies that are involved in the natural resource exploitation of occupied Western Sahara.
Ever more investors are leaving the small handful of the companies that take part in the exploration, exploitation and purchase of non-renewable resources. Details of 21 such companies are provided in this article.
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.
Welcome to Dakhla – the pearl of the southern region of Morocco Philippe Maton/Flickr
April 2015 – On Business Class to an Occupied City in the Desert
Louise Gronkjaer writes “A brand new conference hall in the middle of the desert. Hundreds of security guards to patrol every sand dune. And absolutely no good reasons to justify that the Moroccan king has spent thousands to fly me in. So why am I in Dakhla? …(cont.)”
Upon the visit of the UN Secretary-General to the Saharawi refugee camps yesterday, the SADR Government deposited with Ban Ki-Moon – as the depositary of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea – the coordinates and charts of its exact EEZ claims.
“The coordinates and charts showing the EEZ outer limits will now be communicated to all UN member states trough their Permanent Missions in New York”, stated Frente Polisario in a press release.
A landmark ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in favour of the Polisario Front on 10 December has ordered the annulment of a trade agreement between Morocco and the European Union (EU) because it includes the territory of Western Sahara.
The March 2012 trade agreement, which failed to explicitly refer to Western Sahara, left open the possibility that the accord would apply in the disputed region, as both Morocco and the EU clearly intended.