Western Sahara Resource Watch Western Sahara Resource Watch issued the following petition to “urge the European Commission to put an immediate stop to the granting of all licenses to EU vessels fishing in Western Saharan waters”. It reads:
“To the European Commissioner for Fisheries,
No state in the world has recognised the Moroccan annexation of Western Sahara. Still, the EU is paying millions of Euros annually to the Government of Morocco to allow EU vessels to fish in the waters of Western Sahara. The EU fisheries activities in Western Sahara must immediately come to an end.
Morocco continues to refuse to cooperate with the decolonization process in Western Sahara, thereby defying more than 100 UN resolutions that insist on the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination. Simultaneously, Moroccan authorities commit human rights violations against Sahrawis who voice their political views. No EU states, nor the UN, recognise the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
In this context, cooperating with Morocco in exploiting Western Sahara’s natural resources is highly unethical, and clearly jeopardizes the UN’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
According to the UN, the natural resources in Western Sahara cannot be exploited without regard to the wishes and interests of the people of the territory. However, the EU is transferring European taxpayers’ money to the Government of Morocco for access to Western Saharan waters, without even consulting the Sahrawi people.
The EU has the legal and moral obligation to stop subverting the UN peace process in Western Sahara, by respecting the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination over their land and their resources.
We urge the European Commission to put an immediate stop to the granting of all licenses to EU vessels fishing in Western Saharan waters, and we demand that no further EU fisheries operations take place in Western Sahara until a peaceful solution to the conflict has been found.”
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