New Zealand is urged to stop illegal import of phosphate from occupied Western Sahara

Wellington (New Zealand), 15 February 2020 (SPS) - Representative of the polisario Front to New Zealand and Australia, Mr. Kamal Fadel, has urged the government of New Zealand to put an end to the illegal trade of blood phosphate from the occupied Western Sahara, indicated a statement of the Representation of the Polisario Front to Australia  and New Zealand.

"This trade has caused immense suffering to our people. It encourages Morocco to continue its illegal occupation of our homeland and hamper the UN peace process. It is a criminal wrong, under well-established international law. New Zealand's import - that is, the wilfully blind decisions of a handful of corporate executives in two companies complicit in the matter - is an affront to the values of decolonization, solidarity and international cooperation that New Zealanders rightly pride themselves over. We ask that people study this matter carefully, and reject the notion that trade in the resource is somehow of benefit to resolving an occupation that is rife with human rights abuses. We urge New Zealand Government to put an end to this illegal trade which is damaging the reputation and standing of New Zealand in the world," said the Saharawi representative to New Zealand and Australia.

“Morocco is once again sending a delegation to New Zealand because of its weak case to sell a Saharawi resource in the face of clear unlawfulness. Ethical investors are fleeing from involvement in enterprises which deal with or receive phosphate rock taken from a Western Sahara that continues to be occupied by armed force," he observed.

New Zealand is once again the subject of attention by Moroccan agents who seek to perpetuate the illegal import of plundered phosphate rock from Western Sahara. Morocco has dispatched a large delegation to New Zealand to lobby for the continuation of the illegal phosphate trade.

The trade - which featured in a civil court case in South Africa in 2017 - has been fostered despite declining worldwide sales, in an effort to ensure a democratic, progressive New Zealand remains a participant, giving it a veneer of legitimacy.

The Saharawi government notes that the Moroccan delegation present in New Zealand does not represent the views or aspiration of the Saharawi population. It is a group of agents who seek to prop up the waning import of a commodity that by all commentators and not a few courts in Europe, the United Kingdom and South Africa is unlawful.

The people of Western Sahara have not been consulted about the exploitation of their natural resources nor do they benefit from such exploitation. (SPS)

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