Forlængelse af EU’s fiskeriaftale med Marokko udenom Europaparlamentet

“Hvis EU-kommissionen presser på, for en forlængelse af fiskeriaftalen uden at denne ekskluderer vandene ud for Vestsahara, risikerer man et opgør med Europaparlamentet og en mulig retssag i de europæiske domstole,” siger Mohammed Beissat, Vestsaharas befrielsesbevægelse Polisarios repræsentant i EU.

Ifølge kilder i EU som Afrika Kontakt har kontaktet, er EU-kommissionen tilsyneladende ved at fremlægge en teknisk forlængelse af fiskeriaftalen mellem EU og Marokko – uden at spørge Europaparlamentet, og uden at Marokko har fremlagt nogle beviser for, at den tidligere aftale har gavnet Vestsaharas oprindelige befolkning, Saharawierne. Read more of this post

Are the EU and US set to pull the plug on Swaziland?

“Swaziland is under pressure to fully democratise,” both from the EU, and from America where “the American government will not fund NGOs and states that are undemocratic,” according to columnist Qalakaliboli Dlamini.

Let’s put aside the fact that the US has, and continues to fund, several undemocratic states for a moment and look at what Qalalkaliboli has to say.

He allegedly received a call from Elliott Gamedze, the Private Secretary of the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, last week, who had asked him to meet with Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Prince Sihlangusemphi. During this meeting the Minister supposedly told Qalakaliboli, “donors have decided to pull the plug on Swaziland because no matter how much they pump into our economy, it would seem they are not making any headway.” Read more of this post

HRW report: USA and France support Morocco on Western Sahara

“On Human Rights, the US continued to publicly praise Morocco’s reform efforts and advances made by women,” and “France rarely publicly criticized Morocco’s human rights practices and openly supported its autonomy plan for Western Sahara” says the new Human Rights Watch report. The report also points to the fact that France and the USA both provide Morocco with financial aid to back up their support.

Both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, have a long history of ties to Morocco, and both press for Western Sahara to remain under Moroccan autonomy, not for the referendum on the status on Western Sahara that international law demands. Read more of this post

Denmark promises to support Western Sahara

Denmark has made positive promises that are meant to secure respect for human rights, access to natural resources and a legitimate process of self-determination in Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony.

So let us for once take what a government, such as the Danish, says on human rights and democratisation at face value and forget about the grubby business of realpolitik that goes on behind the scenes. In other words, let us be positive and not cynical of what Denmark has to say on these matters, no matter how many times such pessimism has been proved right. Read more of this post

Denmark’s hypocritical stance on Western Sahara

Denmark has promised that exploitation of Western Sahara’s resources should not take place and that it will encourage its companies not to partake in it. So how do the recent cases of Danish ship companies transporting phosphate with the apparent blessing of the Danish Foreign Ministry and Danish diplomats allegedly praising development in the occupied territories of Western Sahara reflect on Denmark’s policies? Read more of this post

Dansk Europaparlamentariker angriber Danmarks Vestsahara-politik

Ole Christensen, medlem af Europa-Parlamentet for Socialdemokraterne, langer i et åbent brev, sendt den 17. januar til Udenrigsminister Lene Espersen, ud efter Danmarks politik overfor Marokko og Vestsahara.

Ole Christensen angriber blandt andet  EU’s fiskeriaftale med Marokko, der ulovligt tillader Europæiske fiskeri at fiske ud for det besatte Vestsahara, og at EU for tiden forsøger at få denne genforhandlet.

Han kritiserer i stærke vendinger, at EU, og dermed også Danmark, forsøger at genforhandle den snart udløbne fiskeriaftale, i lyset af Marokkos  brutale fremfærd overfor enhver fredelig protest i Vestsahara. Read more of this post

Et frit Vestsahara har stort potentiale

”Vestsahara har det største potentiale for at kunne blive et pro-vestligt demokrati af alle de arabiske lande, noget som USA bruger en stor mænge blod og penge for at skabe i Irak og Afghanistan”, udtalte Suzanne Scholte, præsident for det Amerikanske Defense Forum Foundation, for nyligt til Saharawi Journalists and Writers Union (UPES).

Vestsaharas befrielsesfront, Polisario, har ifølge Scholte i årtier forgæves appelleret til USA og andre vestlige lande, om hjælp til deres kamp for selvstændighed fra Marokko, i den tro at man delte værdier med Vesten. Polisarios appeller har  dog ikke vækket genklang i hverken EU eller USA, der ellers kunne presse på såvel økonomisk og i FNs sikkerhedsråd, for at Marokko kunne tvinges til at afholde den folkeafstemning, som international lov og FN kræver det. Read more of this post

Western Saharan phosphate workers’ protest stifled

Saharawi phosphate workers from the Fosboucraa (Bou Craa) phosphate mine were yesterday, January 19th, denied a meeting with the Authenticity and Modernity Party by the Moroccan authorities in Aaiun (Laayoune) in the occupied territories of Western Sahara, according to Secretary General of the Union Confederation of Saharawi Workers in the Occupied Territories of Western Sahara (CSTS), Sidi Ahmed Eddia. The workers and CSTS were also prevented from planned protests against the conditions in the mine.

In August 2010, a general strike was broken up by Moroccan police, who injured 14 people in the process. The general strike was held in front of the Department of Mines and Energy in Aaiun, also to protest the conditions in Fosboucraa, and the CSTS have repeatedly expressed their discontent of the conditions in the phosphate mines of occupied Western Sahara. Read more of this post

Danish diplomat meets with Moroccan party in occupied Western Sahara

According to news reports yesterday, Deputy Manager and Councillor at Denmark’s Embassy to Rabat, Morocco, Michael Bennett Jensen, has praised the development in the occupied territories of Western Sahara. Jensen had met with representatives of the Authenticity and Modernity Party last Monday in Aaiun (Laayoune), after which he said he was “impressed with the level of development witnessed in Laayoune.”

The Authenticity and Modernity Party was founded by former interior minister Fouad Ali El Himma, and childhood friend of King Mohammed VI, in 2008, reportedly in an attempt by King Mohammed VI’s allies to strengthen his power. The party’s Secretary-General, Mohamed Sheikh Biadillah, is a former health minister. Read more of this post

Capitalist eco-sustainability is a contradiction in terms

”Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind”, wrote Henry Thoreau in Walden in 1854. What he could not possible have known back then was that these hindrances were to become an actual threat to the ecological sustainability of the planet itself.

Modern economics of practically every persuasion prescribe continuous growth as a necessity for a thriving economy, but the assumed productivity advantage of capitalism is linked to its lack of sustainability. The problem with this view is that it depends on our planet having an infinite amount of resources and capacity to absorb pollution. But the assumption that our consumption can continue to grow while our CO2 emissions fall is highly improbable to say the least. Especially when capitalism has so clearly not been able to regulate itself to become more eco-friendly and sustainable. As leading climatologist Mark Maslin puts it,  “global warming is one of the few scientific theories that makes us examine the whole basis of modern society.” Read more of this post