ALGIERS, 10 January 2021 – Companies from Spain, France, Germany, China, Britain and USA are leading the plunder of the disputed Western Sahara, a recent report says.

The report by the French-Saharan Center for Studies and Documentation accuses 28 Spanish, 16 French, 15 German, 12 British and 7 American companies of deep involvement “in the systematic plunder of natural resources in Western Sahara.”

Protesters Demand End of Western Sahara Plunder

Protesters Demand End of Western Sahara Plunder – Photo Environmental Justice Atlas

The publication of the 2019 edition of the report, detailing the role of 153 foreign companies in looting the resources of Western Sahara had forced 37 of the companies to close shop and leave.

The author of the report, Ahmed Baba Miska, told the Sahara News Agency that companies and countries that continue the plunder of Western Sahara do so in violation of international and European law, warning that they will all be held accountable.

The report cites the UN advisory opinion of 2002, judicial rulings by the European Court of Justice issued in 2014, 2015, 2016.

Location of Western Sahara

Location of Western Sahara Source Britannica

The report also cites the African Union advisory issued in 2015, adding that these advisories and rulings handed down by the European Court all confirm the illegality of any foreign company and any country occupying the territory to exploit it.

The withdrawal of 37 firms since 2019 has been partly prompted by law suits brought by the Polisario Front and organizations of the Saharwai people before the European Court of Justice and courts in South Africa, France, New Zealand and France.

The Polisario Front warned all companies and individuals exploiting Western Sahara that the entire disputed territory has, effective 13 November 2020 – become “an open arena for the liberation war by land, sea and air”.

The report calls on all companies and countries involed with the plunder to cease and desist immediately.

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