Western Sahara: Saharawi Republic Supports Mauritius Efforts Against Ecological Disaster and Calls for International Assistance to Avoid the Worse

Bir Lehlou (Saharawi Republic) — The President of the Saharawi Republic, Brahim Ghali, sent a message of solidarity to Mauritius Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, calling for a coordinated international assistance to Mauritius to enable it face the ecological disaster that stroke the country lately because of Oil leak in the Mauritian waters.

"It is with great concern that I have been following the extremely distressing news about the Oil leak that prompted your government to declare a "state of environmental emergency" in your beautiful country, under the threat that is now, endangering marine life in Mauritius and therefore threats to the very lives, future and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Mauritius", President Ghali wrote.

He further praised "the steady efforts" paid by the "government and the people of Mauritius, including the private sector and the volunteers, who have been putting relentless efforts so far to contain the leaks," and expressed "both my personal and the support of my people in these hard times."

He estimated however that the responsibility of protecting the marine life of Mauritius from this catastrophe "should not only be your burden or the burden of the people and government of Mauritius. It should rather be a coordinated international effort to help preserve the bio-diversity on the South Eastern and Eastern coast."

He regretted "to learn that this oil spill can result in causing irreversible damage to the immediate environment of the Wildlife reserve of Ile aux Aigrettes and to the Blue Bay Marine protected area."

In this regard, the Government of the Saharawi Republic, President Ghali wrote "calls on all countries and other relevant regional and international actors to provide the necessary support and assistance to the government of Mauritius, and to the teams now deployed to face this disaster, with all needed expertise, equipment and resources."

He finally reiterated his "strongest support and solidarity with the Government and people of Mauritius in this trying time," and hoped "all those working on the ground will succeed to overcome this disaster."

Mauritius has declared a "state of environmental emergency" following the discovery of oil leak coming from a Japanese-owned, Panamanian-flagged vessel -- that was carrying heavy oil and diesel fuel when it hit a coral reef at Pointe d'Esny last July 25th.

1,000 tonnes of fuel have already been spilled and contained by Mauritius relevant authorities and volunteers, yet, the threat remains since the ship is now at risk of cracking open and of pouring an additional 4,000 tonnes of fuel into the ocean. (SPS)

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