Sahara Press Service (El Aaiun)

21 June 2014

Morocco: WSRW Urges Wisby Tankers AB to Terminate Trade in Occupied Western Sahara

Stockholm — Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has urged the company Wisby Tankers AB to terminate trade in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, calling on the Swedish government to advice against Swedish business involvement in the territory.

This call made in a report published today, Saturday, by WSRW outlining the transports of petroleum products into occupied Western Sahara, especially by the Swedish shipping company Wisby Tankers.

The Swedish company Wisby Tankers AB is leading in a controversial trade, where it supplies occupied Western Sahara with petroleum products.

That company owns two vessels in partnership with its Moroccan partners, and its joint-venture Casablanca Tankers is by far the most important supplier of petroleum to Western Sahara. Its two vessels, Wisby Argan and Wisby Cedar, came into operation in 2010 and they have sailed into the occupied territory on average every twelve days with petroleum products.

The volume of the petroleum deliveries is astonishing: the vessels are supplying the occupied territory an average of over half a million litres of petroleum each and every day, day in and day out.

In total, WSRW estimates that Wisby's two tankers annually transport 194 million litres of petroleum products into Western Sahara - with a value probably around € 106 million, which constitutes the majority of the perhaps 250-280 million litres/year petroleum that is delivered into the territory.

Wisby Tankers has been carrying out this trade for a decade and the petroleum it transports is used to uphold the occupation. It goes almost without saying that the Saharawis in Western Sahara also need petroleum products for civilian life-sustaining purposes.

Yet, the petroleum is mostly used by the Moroccan administration, army, settlers and for plunder of the territory's rich natural resources.

Without the oil imports the illegal occupation would be practically impossible to maintain. The petroleum originates from refineries in Spain, including on the Canary Islands.

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