New Zealand High Court: Morocco has no sovereignty or administrating power over Western Sahara

Wellington (New Zealand) 16 Mars 2021 (SPS)- New Zealand High Court affirmed in a ruling issued yesterday that Morocco has no sovereignty or administrating power over the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

In a judgment it issued on a case by Kamel Mohamed & Barton v Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Fund concerning the application for judicial review of the Fund’s investments in Western Sahara, the Court considered that the importation of Western Saharan phosphate poses reputational risk to New Zealand’s wider interest.

Commenting on this position, Polisario Front’s Representative to Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Kamal Fadel, said “Given that the High Court has recognised that the ongoing importation of Western Saharan phosphate to New Zealand poses a reputational risk to New Zealand’s wider interests, we urge the New Zealand fertiliser companies and all those involved in the plunder of Western Saharan phosphate to cease the trade.”

He further encouraged “New Zealand Government investors, fertiliser companies and farmers to recognise the ethical problems related to the extraction of resources from the occupied territory of Western Sahara, to adopt alternative sources without delay, and to stop any activities that support Morocco’s unlawful occupation.”

The Court examined however the legal status of Western Sahara, only to establish that Morocco neither has sovereignty nor an administrating power of Western Sahara, reaffirming that the territory is entitled to the exercise of the right of self-determination and decolonization.

“The Sahrawi people will continue to use all available means to protect their natural resources,” said Mr. Fadel, referring to Saharawi decision to take to international courts all companies and countries’ institutions involved in illegal exploitation of Saharawi resources. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)