Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Stopping the occupation on the high seas
Looks like asking nicely does work sometimes, as long as they're a little shaming mixed in. Through a campaign that, at its heart, just told shipping companies what they were doing was wrong, Western Sahara Resource Watch convinced three shipping companies to stop carrying plundered Western Saharan phosphates. The three companies--Hong Kong's Jinhui, and Norway's Arnesen and R-Bulk--agreed to stop taking contracts for Western Sahara's phosphates, though Jinhui insists it was just carrying out an old contract made by a boat's previous owner.
Along with getting France and the United States to stop supporting Morocco and convincing ordinary Moroccans of the referendum's righteousness, the other part of ending the occupation is making repressing Western Sahara more expensive to Morocco. Making it more difficult for Morocco to hock plundered phosphate on the global market is a necessary part of that campaign, and becomes even more important as the price of phosphates rises.
There's even more good news to come: Afrol News predicts more shipping companies will soon stop working with Western Sahara's phosphate extracters.
Photo from Western Sahara Resource Watch