Pro-Polisario activists from New Zealand campaigned against phosphate cargo coming from Morocco.
Rabat – On December 16, activists from the Environmental Justice Otepoti organized “a low-key gathering as a show of solidarity for the Sahrawi people” to protest the arrival of the “Triton Valk” carrier on Sunday.
The NGO published a statement claiming that the bulk carrier is “carrying tonnes of phosphates stolen from Western Sahara.”
A few members of the organization held banners, saying, “Caught red handed, stop stealing and stop buying blood phosphate.”
It is not the first time a pro-Polisario NGO has protested phosphate shipments from Morocco, which Polisario objects to.
In 2017, Polisario filed a complaint against OCP, which exports Morocco’s phosphates, over a cargo shipment in Panama. A Panama court, however, denied Polisario’s claims of ownership on grounds of “insufficient evidence” and released the cargo.
In May 2017, South Africa, known for its support for the Polisario Front, detained a phosphate shipment headed for New Zealand via Port Elizabeth after Polisario claimed the cargo was illegally taken from Western Sahara.
The court decided that “phosphate ownership has never been legally held by the Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) and/or Phosphates de Boucreaa SA.” The court deemed the cargo illegally obtained in Western Sahara.
OCP denounced the court’s decision because it prevented the group from selling the cargo to Ballance Agri Nutrients Limited of New Zealand.
The group managed to retrieve the shipment from South Africa after the court failed to sell the cargo in an auction in March 2018.