Monday, July 02, 2007

Gearbulk is helping to plunder Western Sahara's phosphates

There's disagreement about why Morocco invaded Western Sahara in the first place--was it Greater Morocco nationalism, a lure to keep a restless army occupied, or a distraction from Hassan II's domestic problems? One thing is for sure, though--the phosphates from the Bou Craa Mine (pictured) didn't convince anyone to give peace a chance. Since the occupation began Morocco has been trying to peddle its ill-gotten phosphates, despite the best efforts of Polisario fighters and human rights activists.

Now, Norwegians and others are mad at Gearbulk, a British-based shipping company, for its role in the illegal phosphate trade. One of Gearbulk's ships, the Bulk Saturn, has been transporting phosphates extracted from Western Sahara to New Zealand. Here's an article in Norwegian about the controversy, and here's a video of the Bulk Saturn with its phosphates.

Companies that work with Western Saharan phosphates prolong the occupation by keeping it financially bearable for Morocco. That's why members of parliament from the UK, New Zealand, Norway, and Japan (!) wrote an open letter to Gearbulk urging it to sever its shameful relationship with Morocco. With the successful campaign against Kerr-McGee behind them, Western Sahara advocates are hoping that raising awareness of Gearbulk's profiteering will convince the company the game's not worth the phosphate.

Update: There's now an English version of the video.


  1. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Ban Ki-moon: I've Screwed Things Up So Badly I Have To Revise My Report
    [This is a note sent this weekend by Ban Ki-moon to some friends]

    In an attempt to break the stalemate, I drafted a report late on Friday last week, June 22 - and in a bold move to undermine international law - I called upon Morocco and the Polisario Front to settle their dispute by accepting autonomy of the Western Sahara. I had been toying with the idea for some time now, since Walsum came back from his last trip to see Abrams, in D.C.

    What was I thinking or......drinking?.

    My move raised eyebrows among some observers, particularly, the Algerians and South Africans. I mean, honestly, do these guys ever get distracted from events around this conflict? They often see more sinister motives behind my actions!

    I indicated in the report [ I tried to take it down ASAP from the website but some had already gotten to it ] to the Security Council that the parties failed in the most recent round of negotiations to agree on the definition of self- determination, which is considered the only way to settle their claim.

    Doesn't every one around here ALREADY agree on the definition of SELF-DETERMINATION? After all, this is the UN. Again, what was I thinking? Deep down, I think the word "self-determination" is overrated.

    The fact that the submission was unaccepted appears to be unprecedented in the annals of the UN Secretary-general's politics. None of my predecessors (Perez, Boutros, Annan...) has ever before screwed things up so badly. I mean, not even the former Wehrmacht intelligence officer (Waldheim), has drifted this far.

    I apologise, I shouldn't have trusted Walsum and this other guy who keeps calling me from Spain. They're making me look bad. But remember, I'm new to the job and as you can tell, I'm not yet well versed in english. I get confused with "autonomy" and "self-determination".

    But, worst of all, in my report, I urged those dudes from Polisario to accept autonomy and drop the call for independence for the territory. It was too much. I was suddenly besieged by infuriated people. That's when I really knew I had screwed things up. It really shook me, worst than the Baghdad mortar attack, seriously.

    You see, I am a man of integrity and the Moroccans had told me that the move was a "win-win" for everyone, bastards. They knew what I was doing and they all kept quiet, resisting the temptation to announce it for the whole week, except "AL Bayane". I mean, even the MAP kept silent and that's something to say. But the Polisario, this time departed from their usual hopeful rhetoric and got very, very upset. But still, they held in their anger and worked behind the scenes. They almost never get this angry, no matter what you do to them, and the UN has screwed them countless times.

    Anyways, I also suggested that a second round of talks is scheduled to begin on August 10 under the mediation of the - now weird to me - Ambassador Peter van Walsum. I've asked that the contents of the discussion in mid-June not be made public, so I told the parties attending the talks to keep their mouths shut. See if next time - in my non-public report to the security council - I can give it another shot ! I'm not a quitter, I will keep plugging away at it and hope the Polisaurus representatives will understand.

    As for the controversial report, several of its key details still need to be worked out and crop out others. So, I will rewrite the final version to be released [maybe] next week.

    Have a great weekend and RELAX !!!

    P.S: I've asked my secretary not to take any more calls from Moratinos.


  2. Laroussi2:58 PM

    I copied the satire about Ban Ki-Moon to the blog
    about him, plus added a new satire from Western Sahara Online.

  3. Hilarious. I'll post links to those later today. Hopefully Ban Ki-Moon will shape up and he won't have to send such apologetic emails to his pals anymore.

  4. Anonymous2:46 PM

    i will post a dozone of polizario to ban ki-moon to spank them what a waste space here is same fact never been any country called western sahara before second with algeria polizario would'nt exist

  5. Anonymous2:55 PM

    A foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends a moroccan proverb