Western Sahara’s ‘conflict tomatoes’ highlight a forgotten occupation
Accurate labelling of consumer produce is a familiar part of the struggle for Palestinian rights under Israeli occupation and a striking example of global citizen empowerment. Now campaigners for the freedom of Western Sahara are making similar demands to try to undermine Morocco’s control of the territory.
In the first case of its kind, British government departments are facing action in the high court over complaints that goods that originate in Western Sahara, often described as “the last colony in Africa”, are illegally benefiting from preferential tariffs granted to Morocco by the EU.
British consumers are also being misled: sweet mixed baby tomatoes – sold by supermarket giants Tesco and Morrisons – have been labelled as produce of Morocco when in fact they were from giant agribusinesses in the Sahara, some of them owned by the wealthy King Mohammed VI, others by powerful Moroccan conglomerates or French multinational firms. None is owned by the indigenous Saharawi people.
UN Committee of 24 Calls for Decolonization of Western Sahara
The participants in the regional Conference of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization (the Committee of 24,) held recently in Managua, Nicaragua, has renewed called for the completion of the decolonization process in Western Sahara through the organization of a free and transparent referendum allowing the people of Western Sahara to exercise freely their right to self-determination.
Refuting the Moroccan attempts to misrepresent the question of Western Sahara, the representatives of Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea recalled “the colonial character” of the current status of Western Sahara.
They insisted on “the UN’s responsibility to end this situation of occupation and colonization.”
Sahrawi Coordinator With Minurso Received By Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Saharawi coordinator with MINURSO (the UN Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara), member of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front, Emhamed Khedad, was received Thursday in Madrid by Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ibáñez.
The talks focused on the latest developments of the question of Western Sahara and the prospects of the peace process led by the United Nations after the adoption of the latest resolution of the Security Council, as well as bilateral relations and cooperation. Mr. Khedad expressed the concerns of the Polisario Front in the face of the inertia that characterizes the mediation of the United Nations, which only serves to reinforce the Moroccan occupier in its arrogance and contempt for international law.