Media Release ~ Communiqué FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17 October 2022 – Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara & Sydney, Australia.
The Government of the Saharawi Republic (Western Sahara) today condemned the renewal of the illegal import in plundered phosphate mineral rock to Australia.
On 17 October, a cargo with an estimated market value of more than $15 million AUD arrived aboard a bulk carrier, the m.v. Clipper Isadora, at Geelong. The purchasing company is Incitec Pivot Limited, which has not traded in the Western Sahara commodity in more than five years, at the time the last Australian company to do so. Incitec Pivot Limited has made no public statement about the resumption of purchases and has not responded to inquiries and expressions of concern from Saharawi officials.
The Maritime Union of Australia condemns the actions of Incitec Pivot, an Australian company, which has recommenced importing illegal cargo from the occupied Western Sahara through the Port of Geelong. The Clipper Isadora vessel is currently discharging 33,000 tonnes of plundered natural resources – a cargo of phosphate mineral rock – worth A$15 million at the bulk terminal in Geelong.
On September 29, the General Court of the European Union issued a landmark ruling, one of significant importance in international law for Western Sahara. Western Sahara is Africa’s last colony, occupied illegally by Morocco since 1975, and even in the face of a UN administered self-determination referendum agreed upon in 1991. New Zealand is a large-scale importer of high-quality phosphate rock from Western Sahara. In 2017-18, the High Court of South Africa noted that the Saharawi people are the rightful owner of the resource.
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”.
On 4 March 2021 Western Sahara supporters in New Zealand celebrated the launch of the Western Sahara New Zealand campaign and website.
An online live-streamed panel discussed New Zealand’s role in Western Sahara
The panel included:
Mr. Kamel Fadel: Polisario Representative for Australia & New Zealand
Ms. Louisa Wall, Labour MP
Ms. Golriz Ghahraman, Green MP
• The Panel discussion was facilitated by Otepoti-based artist: Mr. Matthew Galloway
Western Sahara Campaign NZ
The recently established Western Sahara Campaign NZ is a nationwide network of people committed to supporting and advocating for the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination. Website Facebook
The Western Sahara liberation movement has taken New Zealand’s superannuation fund to the country’s highest court over its investments in farms that use phosphate illegally mined in the occupied territory. (cont.)
Morocco dominates phosphate fertilisers thanks to its disputed control of Western Sahara Matt Davies, BBC Sounds podcast: Business Daily. 31 Dec 2019
Matt Davies travels to Morocco to speak to Nada Elmajdoub, an executive at the national phosphate company OCP. He also hears from Mohamed Kamal Fadel, a spokesperson for the Polisario Front, which is bringing legal challenges against Morocco’s phosphate exports in its bid to win independence for Western Sahara; Professor Stuart White of the University of Technology Sydney questions the sustainability of the planet’s usage of mined phosphates to boost crop yields, plus Stephen Zunes, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of San Francisco, explains the history of the Western Sahara conflict and how Morocco gained the upper hand.
Refugees from Western Sahara are encouraging the New Zealand Government to stop two New Zealand companies importing phosphate from disputed land. NZ’s Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ spokesperson Mark Wynne told 1 NEWS, “I think it’s fine, there’s a United Nations framework in place for purchasing product out of disputed territories and we comply 100 per cent with that.” But human rights lawyer Craig Tuck strongly disagreed. (cont.)
Hawkes Bay Today New Zealand Herald, Opinion, 26 August 2019
By: Kamal Fadel
A vessel named Amoy Dream carrying about 55,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from Western Sahara is expected to arrive at Napier Port today.
Seventy per cent of all New Zealand’s phosphate comes from Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco since 1975. It has, since then, been a shameful blot on the landscape of global justice and human rights.
Legal opinion is mounting that Morocco’s exploitation of Sahrawi resources, and the subsequent import of those resources, is illegal. (cont.)
A Western Saharawi protester calls on PM Jacinda Ardern to intercede over phosphate exports
Gerard Hutching Mar 11 2019
Western Saharawi freedom fighters have called on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to urge New Zealand fertiliser companies to stop importing phosphate from the Western Sahara.
The territory where the phosphate comes from is in dispute, with the Western Saharawis battling for an independent state.