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Western Sahara

At the beginning of October, the Western Sahara Campaign urged British shoppers to seek out and report tomatoes grown in Western Sahara but labelled as ‘produce of Morocco’. Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975, and the tomato industry benefits the king of Morocco himself or French-Moroccan transnationals, rather than local people.

In late October, Moroccan police attacked dozens of pro-independence demonstrators in the Western Sahara cities of Laayoune and Smara, during a three-day visit by Christopher Ross, UN envoy for Western Sahara.

At the beginning of October, the US think tank, the Carnegie endowment for international peace, issued its latest report on Western Sahara, Western Sahara: Beyond Complacency, which noted that Morocco’s investments have not fostered sustainable development in the territory: ‘Instead, they have contributed to consolidate a traditional spoils system, whereby local tribal leaders, notables, influential Sahrawi refugees who deserted the Polisario, and elected officials scoop up most of the economic and political opportunities.’

Topics: Western Sahara