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Incitec Pivot must stop theft of Western Sahara phosphate

17 December 2012

Incitec Pivot must stop theft of Western Sahara phosphate

The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) will be protesting at the IPL AGM outside the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 2 Clarendon St, Southbank as shareholders arrive from 1.30-2pm, Tuesday 18 December.

Incitec Pivot Ltd (IPL) has announced no plans to phase out their imports of phosphate from Western Sahara, sold by the Moroccan company OCP, which has no legal title over Western Sahara phosphates.

Wesfarmers, on the other hand, has placed a hold on such imports for the coming year. Meanwhile, fertilizer companies in other countries have stopped importing this phosphate altogether: FMC Foret in Spain, Mosaic in the USA, Yara in Norway, BASF in Belgium...

Incitec Pivot would like to portray itself as an ethical company operating legally, but it is not ethical or legal to import stolen phosphate from Western Sahara. Commercial dealings with Morocco in goods sourced in the country they illegally occupy lends support to the regime’s claim to the territory, although no country in the world recognizes its claim.

The Moroccan regime uses revenue from Western Sahara resources to maintain 120,000 troops on the military wall dividing the country and hundreds of police and security services to suppress the Saharawi people. Buying Western Sahara phosphates from Morocco also impedes the United Nations’ efforts to organise a referendum of self-determination to resolve the conflict.

The Saharawi people have no say in the exploitation of their natural resources and obtain no benefit from it. They are protesting and we are supporting their protest. The president of the Saharawi organisation to protect natural resources (CSPRON) is in prison without trial for over 2 years, along with 23 others. Even under Moroccan law it is illegal to be held for more than a year without trial. Their crime? Protesting the plunder of the natural resources of Western Sahara and asking for basic rights in their own country.

The Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) endorses the resolution of the European Parliament on 13 December 2012 where it expressed "its concern at the deterioration of human rights in the Western Sahara" and called for "the fundamental rights of the people of Western Sahara, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate, to be respected". It also called for the opening of the territory to independent observers, NGOs and the media.

It is time for Incitec Pivot to stop the illegal plunder of Western Sahara phosphates. We urge Incitec Pivot to put a hold on their imports from Western Sahara until the illegal occupation is ended.

Further information:
awsa.org.au
wsrw.org

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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