2 July 2014

Western Sahara: Four Danish Municipalities Stop Purchase of Western Sahara Salt, Says WSRW

Copenhagen — Four Danish municipalities, Gladsaxe, Herlev, Rudersdal and Gentofte, have decided not to use the road salt imported from occupied Western Sahara by Danish company Dansk Vejsalt A/S, according to Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW).

During the last year the Danish NGO, Afrika Kontakt has several times, and without luck, tried to get Dansk Vejsalt to stop the import of this salt.

"It was the pressure from the four municipalities that made Dansk Vejsalt to promise that all salt to these municipalities in the future will come from Italy. We are very happy that the municipalities have demanded proper documentation to ensure that this is actually is the case", Dennis O'Brien from Afrika Kontakt's Western Sahara campaign group told.

Earlier this year, the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Danish Parliament agreed on a statement that summarized the Danish position to the conflict in Western Sahara, recommending all public institutions to reject products from the occupied Western Sahara, asking the private companies to be considerate if working in Western Sahara ensuring documentation that their activities will benefit the indigenous population.

A legal investigation by Gladsaxe municipality proved that all documentation provided by Dansk Vejsalt to legitimise their import of salt from Western Sahara cannot be used as proper documentation to ensure that the transactions benefit the indigenous population.

Furthermore it has become clear that the company misuses a statement from the foreign ministry to blueprint their import of the salt from Western Sahara, which clearly states that: "Exploitation of natural recourses in [occupied] areas must according to international law be made in compliance with the interest of the indigenous population and must not be made unless it profits the indigenous people.

Road salt from Western Sahara continues to be imported by Dansk Vejsalt and continually used in many Danish municipalities.

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