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Campaign against plundering of W/Sahara resources launched
afrol News, 9 November - The pro-Saharawi network, Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has launched a campaign to sign letters to the EU Commissioner for Fisheries, asking EU to immediately stop the plundering of the natural resources of Western Sahara by Morocco.
The campaign is in protest of the EU support of Morocco in fishing in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
A WSRW statement has said the organisation has declared the campaign to convince the EU to put an end to the unwavering support to Morocco in plundering the Natural resources of Western Sahara.
According to the letter published by the Observatory on its site, no state in the world has recognised the Moroccan annexation of Western Sahara, yet the EU is paying millions of Euros annually to the government of Morocco to allow EU vessels to fish in the waters of Western Sahara.
“The EU fisheries activities in Western Sahara must immediately come to an end,” the letter indicated.
In December last year, the former UN Legal Counsel, Ambassador Hans Corell, called the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) illegal, because it includes the waters off Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.
EU vessels have since 2006 trawled the waters offshore of the occupied Western Sahara under a Moroccan-EU fisheries agreement, in disregard of the wishes of the people of Western Sahara. These waters are known to contain some of the richest fish resources in the world.
The EU has previously claimed that the controversial agreement is legal, referring to an opinion that the erstwhile UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Hans Corell, wrote in 2002. But the former UN legal expert himself, having left office, clearly criticises what he sees as an EU mis-interpretation of his text.
The Organisation also recalled that according to the UN, the natural resources in Western Sahara could not be exploited without regard to the wishes and interests of the people of the territory, warning against the EU transferring European taxpayers’ money to the Government of Morocco for access to Western Saharan waters, without even consulting the Sahrawi people.
It further said the EU has the legal and moral obligation to stop subverting the UN peace process in Western Sahara, by respecting the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination over their land and their resources.
WSRW urged the European Commission to put an immediate stop to the granting of all licenses to EU vessels fishing in Western Saharan waters, and demanded that no further EU fisheries operations take place in Western Sahara until a peaceful solution to the conflict has been found.
Morocco has annexed the former Spanish colony since 1976, leaving around one third of mostly uninhabited Saharawi lands, the interior part bordering Algeria and Mauritania on the Polisario's hands.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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