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Western Sahara

In early June, Western Sahara Resource Watch accused the Danish vessel Marianne Danica of illegally shipping phosphates from the occupied territory of Western Sahara. Marianne Danica left Laayoune in Western Sahara on 6 June, headed for Denmark.

Shipowners Folmer & Co denied acting illegally, but refused to identify the cargo – classified as category A dangerous, a category that includes phosphates.

According to international law, trade in resources and goods from Western Sahara is illegal according unless the people of Western Sahara themselves accept the deal and benefit from it.

Morocco, which has illegally occupied the territory since 1975, sells many of Western Sahara’s resources, including phosphates, which are used in fertilisers. Western Sahara is home to the world’s longest conveyor belt system, a 60-mile facility that has been operating for 30 years, taking phosphates from the mine at Bu Craa to Laayoune.

Late news: back in late April, Sahrawi fisherfolk boarded a Swedish fishing boat and chained themselves to the deck in protest at being systematically excluded from employment on foreign fishing vessels.

According to reports received by Western Sahara Resource Watch, the protest blockaded the ship for 13 hours.


Topics: Western Sahara