Western Sahara: 139,000 t of frozen fish illegally exported by Morocco in 2019

aps.dz.- BRUSSELS – The quantities of frozen fish from Western Sahara, illegally exported by Morocco in 2019, are around 139,000 tonnes for $ 100 million, reveals a new report by the Western Sahara Resources Watch Observatory (WSRW).

“According to what WSRW was able to establish, 23 transshipments on 19 different refrigerated vessels took place in the waters near Dakhla” city of occupied Western Sahara, “during the calendar year 2019,” said the observatory.

WSRW’s most conservative estimate of the value of this quantity of frozen fish using the world price of sardines as a benchmark is around $ 100 million.

The volume observed in 2019 is almost similar to what WSRW had observed the previous year.

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Polisario Front takes NZ Super Fund to court

stuff.co.nz.- The Western Sahara freedom movement has filed papers in the High Court to stop the New Zealand Superannuation Fund from investing in the disputed North African territory claimed by Morocco.

The Polisario Front has warned ​the investments prejudice New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community, but the Fund said it does not accept the allegations and will defend the case.

For years the Front has been trying to put a halt to the extraction of the phosphate from Western Sahara by Morocco, which it says belongs to the Sahrawi people.

New Zealand companies Ravensdown and Balance Agri-Nutrients import about $30 million worth of the product a year to spread on farms.

The Front is putting heat on the Guardians of the Super Fund, which oversees global investments worth $44.5 billion, to stop investing in the region.

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Protesters picket Environment Canterbury over Councillors meeting with Morocco

stuff.co.nz.- Protesters ran the Western Saharan flag up the Environment Canterbury flag pole to protest councillors meeting with Moroccan officials.

Much of the world’s phosphate supplies come from Western Sahara, a bitterly disputed territory once ruled by Spain but claimed by Morocco in 1975. The Sahrawi people consider the phosphate stolen.

The phosphate is used in fertilisers such as that processed in Christchurch by Ravensdown. A spokesman has previously said Ravensdown is trading legally and within United Nations’ expectations.

Advocacy group Western Sahara Solidarity Aotearoa staged the protest on Friday. About a dozen members, including members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, stood outside ECan with signs and ran the Western Saharan flag up the flagpole.

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Canaries defends “maximum firmness” against Morocco

PUSL.- In view of Morocco’s declarations to unilaterally consider the Moroccan Exclusive Economic Zone expanded to include not only the waters of Western Sahara but also the waters of the Canary Islands, the political representatives of this island have been staunchly opposed to the Moroccan position .

At a parliamentary hearing requested by the Nationalist Group, Julio Pérez, a government adviser, highlighted the “immediate and radical” rejection of any unilateral act in Morocco that affects Spanish or Canarian waters.

According to Pérez, Morocco acknowledges that there will be no consummated events and that everything will be agreed between Spain and Morocco. However, the regional government will not reduce “the demand or attention”, remembering that in 2017, when the processing of the laws by Morocco began, both, the Spanish State, and the government of the Canary Islands, led by Fernando Clavijo ( CC – Canarias Coalition), opted for a “moderate line” and minimized the claims of the neighboring kingdom.

“What Morocco has done has no consequences, either in facts or in law,” said the adviser, explaining that there is no geographical justification in the legal texts and that the Canary Islands have always lived with the “expansionist” desire of the Alawite kingdom.

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Morocco and its expansionist paranoia

PUSL.- Once again, the Kingdom of Morocco has shown a total lack of respect for international agreements and laws by passing in its Chamber of Deputies two laws with which it intends to annex the waters of Western Sahara and Spain.

Morocco is an expert in the application of the old Spanish saying “Agitated river means gains for fishermen”, it already did it in 1975, illegally occupying Western Sahara taking advantage of the complicated situation of the Franco regime, with the imminent death of dictator Francisco Franco, and now does it again at the moment when Spain opens a new coalition government, the PSOE – PODEMOS, with strong opposition from the parties of the Spanish right.

This decision is caused by the great wealth of the area, as it contains underwater mountains that contain different natural resources, such as cobalt, tellurium and other minerals of great value for the industry.

The new distribution of the maritime space that Morocco intends is supposed to strengthen its control over the territory of Western Sahara, since, for the recalculation of the maritime border, it assumes the occupied territories as its own, not indicating Tarfaya as the southern limit but rather the city ​​of La Guera that has never been recognized by the United Nations or by any sovereign state as being Moroccan.

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States urge Spain to respect Saharawi rights in Human Rights Council

WSRW.- Namibia and East-Timor have today recommended Spain to respect the Saharawi people’s right to free, prior and informed consent with regard to the exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources.

This article is under construction and will be updated throughout the course of the day.

Spain today went through its third Universal Periodic Review; a peer review by other UN Member States of the country’s human rights slate.

Namibia and East Timor took the opportunity to raise their concerns on Spain’s involvement in the taking of Western Sahara’s natural resources, and recommended Spain to respect the international framework on Business and Human Rights, and as such, to respect the right to free, prior and informed consent of the Saharawi people to the taking of their homeland’s resources.

During Spain’s two previous UPR reviews in 2010 and 2015, not a single State addressed Spain’s continued responsibility vis-à-vis Western Sahara.

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Josie Butler: “We will do everything in our power to stop New Zealand from funding war crimes”

PUSL.- Josie Butler from Western Sahara Solidarity Aoteroa (New Zealand) was one of the organisers of the recent protests against the importation of Blood phosphates in New Zealand, in an interview to PUSL Mrs. Butler explained how the activists in New Zealand act in solidarity with the Saharawi People.

Josie Butler, indigenous social justice advocate from New Zealand. Gained notoriety after throwing a dildo at a politician to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Currently an organiser for the Western Sahara Solidarity Aoteroa (New Zealand) group, and has strong ties to numerous other activist groups within New Zealand and abroad.

– How did you get involved in the Western Sahara issue?

A friend told me about the issue in the middle of 2019, and asked if I could help out with some local campaigning. I had never heard of Western Sahara before, so I did some reading. When I found out what was happening I was horrified. I was even more horrified to find out that a New Zealand company was funding such an atrocity. I came across a picture of a sign that Saharawi activists had made, that said ‘New Zealand help us stop the plunder”. I decided to do everything I could to help.

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Swedish MEPs call for labeling of products from Western Sahara

PUSL.- Charlie Andreas Weimers and Jessica Stegrud, two Swedish MEPs of theSweden Democrats Party demand to label products originating in the Western Sahara. The two Swedish MEPs raised the matter in a written question addressed to the European Commission on January 14.

Recalling the the decision of November 12, 2019 of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) validating the labeling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights in Syria exported to the Twenty-eight market the swedish MEPs ask:

“In the light of this court decision, does the Commission intend to ensure that origin labels are imposed for food produced in occupied territories such as Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara?

They also asked whether Brussels plans to apply the measure only to Israel or whether it intends to extend it to Morocco and Turkey.

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‘Blood phosphate’ imports from Western Sahara may prompt illegal port strikes – union in New Zealand

rnz.co.nz .- Fertiliser companies importing so-called “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara could face illegal strike action by port workers in future, warn unions.

A ship chartered by Ravensdown, the Federal Crimson, is currently unloading the last of 51 tonnes of phosphate at Port Chalmers, after earlier docking in Napier and Lyttleton.

At each port, it has been boarded by members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, who have handed protest letters to the captain.

Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients import about $30 million worth of phosphate each year from Western Sahara.

Western Sahara is a piece of desert land of a similar size to New Zealand. It was a Spanish colony but was taken over by Morocco in 1975, a move condemned by the United Nations.

Union organiser John Kerr said he was “hopeful” the companies would find alternative sources – but if they did not, union members could take more drastic action next time. Read more

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Protesters in boats meet ship bringing ‘blood’ phosphate into Christchurch and Trade Union delivers protest letter

JOSIE BLOSSFIELD / SUPPLIED/ Stuff.co.nz/ PUSL

Today protesters have met a phosphate-laden cargo ship as it arrived in Christchurch, calling for New Zealand companies to stop importing the controversial fertiliser.

Cargo ship the Federal Crimson on Monday arrived in Lyttelton carrying 50,000 tonnes of phosphate from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

It was met by a peace flotilla of 15 kayaks, a yacht, and a ferry filled with more than 100 school children. A further 80 human rights activists sang Saharawi songs of freedom from land.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union boarded the ship on arrival, issuing a letter of protest to the captain.

The blood phosphate from occupied Western Sahara is Moroccan exporter OCP’s illegal cargo until it is unloaded. Three such shipments arrive annually.

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New Zealand activists and trade union preparing protest against Blood Phosphates

Scoop Independent News.- Ravensdown’s enterprise shipment of ‘blood phosphate’ is currently anchored offshore from Christchurch, in an attempt to avoid protestors in Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand. Sources from Lyttelton Port Company report that the ship will remain anchored for over 36 hours, and will not berth until 2300 on the 8th of December.

Local human rights activists are planning a ‘peace flotilla’ for the ships arrival, to protest the importing of phosphate from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

Local organiser Josie Butler states “Ravensdown are directly funding war crimes by importing the phosphate from the Moroccan occupiers of Western Sahara”. The ship has carried over 50,000 tonnes of ‘conflict phosphate’ from the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara. Christchurch group, ‘Ravensdown- Take ‘Em Down’ are organising a water flotilla, inspired by the Peace Squadrons – which were instrumental in the NZ Nuclear Free campaign.

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