German company Continental ends its illegal activities in Occupied Western Sahara

Berlin, Feb 12, 2021 (SPS) - The contract between Continental's subsidiary ContiTech and OCP, Morocco's state-owned phosphate company that illegally exploits the phosphate reserves of Bou Craa in occupied Western Sahara, has not been renewed. This was clarified by Continental to Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) in a correspondence this week.

“We commend Continental for not continuing the supplies to the mine in Western Sahara. Morocco has no right to operate the phosphate mine on occupied land. These resources belong to the oppressed Saharawi people",  Sara Eyckmans from WSRW told.

The company sent an initial letter to WSRW on 10 February 2021, while today clarifying that this means that the company “thus do not have an existing contract or agreement” for the territory.

Continental is the second company in a space of a few months that announces its termination of servicing OCP's operations in Western Sahara. In October 2020, Swedish mining equipment company Epiroc announced that it will no longer supply the controversial Bou Craa phosphate mine in occupied Western Sahara with drilling equipment. A dozen clients of OCP have stopped purchasing the conflict minerals over concerns of human rights and international law, as desribed in WSRW's annual reports on the trade. 

The contract, arranging for ContiTech to supply replacement parts to the conveyor installations of OCP, had already expired on 30 June 2020. 

“We call on Siemens Gamesa to follow the examples of Continental and Epiroc. Supporting the operation of the OCP mine in Western Sahara constitutes a serious breach of fundamental ethical norms", Eyckmans From Western Sahara Resource Watch stated. SPS