Sahrawi official reveals extent of Morocco plunder of Sahrawi resources

Algiers, Feb 26, 2017 (SPS) - President of the Sahrawi Petroleum and Mining Authority, Ghali Zbeir, revealed Saturday in Algiers the extent of Morocco plundering of the Sahrawi resources, notably phosphate and fishery products.

He warned against the continuing complicity of certain foreign companies despite the binding ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Speaking to the press in the presence of SADR Ambassador to Algeria, Bouchraya Hamoudi Bayoune, Ghali Zbeir said the Moroccan occupation exploited and exported the phosphate extracted from the occupied Sahrawi territories, notably from mine Boukraâ, adding that 2.1 million tonnes of phosphate has been exported in 2014.

The official who said that phosphate export from Western Sahara had been in operation since the beginning of the occupation, referred to a "conveyor belt" through which 2000 tonnes of phosphate were transported every hour.

The expansion of this transport means by the occupation illustrates Morocco’s willingness to continue to plunder Sahrawi resources.

Ghali Zbeir also cited the extension of Al-Ayun Port where goods processing and sorting plants are being installed.

Fisheries resources are also largely plundered as Western Sahara Coast is one of the world’s richest in fisheries resources.

Among other resources plundered, the Sahrawi official mentioned renewable energies. With the help of foreign companies, especially from France and Italy, Morocco built solar and wind power plants, which produce and export energy to Morocco. The German Investment Bank contributes to the financing of these companies, he said.

According to the president of the Sahrawi Petroleum and Mining Authority, "these figures remain approximate because it is difficult to obtain accurate data, since the region is under military control and Moroccan statistics are not transparent," he said.

But some media manage to "expose the Moroccan plundering of the Sahrawi resources and the complicity of some parties," said Ghali Zbeir.

Indeed, 20 companies decided in 2016 to stop investing in Western Sahara, like the Norwegian Pension Fund, which excluded Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy from its investments, said the Sahrawi official.

The Sahrawi official warned against the plundering of Sahrawi resources by Morocco, saying that any collaboration with Morocco was perceived as "an incentive for the continuation of its activities, which contributes to the lingering of 40 year-old Western Sahara conflict." (SPS)