21 June 2014

Morocco: New Report Listing Clients Involved in Morocco's Plunder of Saharawi Resources

Stockholm — Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) published today, Saturday, a complete report listing all the clients, volumes, values and shipments relating to Morocco's exports of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.

Entitled "Fuelling the Occupation", he report is made on the basis of tracking and analysing 109 bulk vessels that arrived port in El Aaiun, Western Sahara.

In addition to naming the involved companies, this report also identified potential buyers, as well as a "green list" of companies previously associated with such trade, but which no longer purchase.

The list presented in this report is complete for the calendar years 2012 and 2013, naming nearly all the shipments of the phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

This report attributed the purchases of Morocco's production in Western Sahara in 2013 to ten named and two yet unknown importers in ten countries internationally; the two companies PotashCorp (US) and Lifosa (Lithuania), alone, accounted for 50% percent of all purchases.

The report detailed a total exported volume from Western Sahara in 2013 at 2,2 million tonnes, with an estimated value of $330 million, shipped in 48 bulk vessels. That is an increase of 400,000 tonnes from 2012, the report shows.

Of the ten named companies identified as importing phosphates in 2013, six are listed on international stock exchanges or are majority owned by enterprises which are listed. Four of those have been subject to blacklisting by ethically concerned investors due to this trade on grounds of human rights or international law.

The Canadian company Agrium started its imports only in September 2013, and has thus yet not been subject to known investor exclusions.

Of the remaining four companies not registered on any stock exchange, two are farmer owned cooperatives in New Zealand, while the two remaining are fully or partially owned by the Government of Venezuela.

The report called on all companies involved in the trade to immediately halt all purchases of Western Sahara phosphates until a solution to the conflict has been found, asking investors to engage, or divest unless action is taken.

The phosphate rock is illegally exploited by the Moroccan government in Western Sahara. The exports are Morocco's main source of income from the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

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