POLISARIO Front warns the Chilean maritime authorities of the presence of a ship in its waters with phosphate stolen in Western Sahara

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PUSL.- In a letter sent by the Saharawi Office of Natural Resources to the Director General of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DGTM) of Chile, POLISARIO Front reports the presence in Chilean waters of a ship, with the Hong Kong flag and which departed from the port of El Aaiun bound for Naipier, with a load of more than 50,000 tons. of stolen phosphates in Western Sahara.

Saharawi Office of Natural Resources

For the attention of Vice Admiral Ignacio Mardones Costa
General Director of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DGTM)

After our letter sent on 05.05.2020, the Saharawi Office of Natural Resources has once again become aware of a shipment, this time from the Trans Spring ship, with registration IMO: 9615482, with the Hong Kong flag, which left the port of El Aaiún – occupied capital of Western Sahara and bound for Napier.

This ship is loaded with 56,854 tons of phosphates, exploited by the group “Office Cherifien des Phosphatos” (OCP), a well-known company, under Moroccan control.

The OCP group exercises part of its activity in Morocco, which is legal, and another part of its activity in the territory of Western Sahara, which is illegal. In fact, under international law, Morocco’s sovereignty in this territory is not recognized. Morocco is solely the occupying military power and has no right to export the natural resources of Western Sahara.

The Trans Spring ship has left the port of El Aaiun on April 29, 2020, at 12h39 local time and therefore there is no doubt that the transported mineral comes from Western Sahara. Customs documents clearly indicate that the extraction and transport have been carried out with Moroccan authorization and since Morocco controls 100% of the OCP group, this authorization is illegal. On the other hand, a state can only grant the authorization of exploitation within its own territory, internationally recognized.

Morocco claims its sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara, but no state in the world recognizes such sovereignty since Western Sahara is part of the territories pending decolonization according to the UN. Furthermore, this export is a violation of international law and a robbery of the sovereign resources of the people of Western Sahara.

In previous litigation, the Pretoria Court – South Africa ruled that the authorizations granted by Morocco had no validity, as a state cannot grant authorizations for the exploitation and transportation of a territory of which it is not sovereign.

The Saharawi Office of Natural Resources has requested the set of port authorities to do everything necessary to enforce respect for international law.

In this case it is stolen phosphates that cannot be traded and that must be
retained by the Chilean port authorities.

The Saharawi Office of Natural Resources makes available to the services that request it the appropriate explanations, as well as all the complementary documents.

Dr. Ghali Zoubeir
President of the Saharawi Office of Natural Resources,
In, Birlehlu May 19, 2020