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Reuters: EU boats must stop fishing off W.Sahara--Polisario
LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Western Sahara independence movement Polisario said on Thursday the European Union must stop boats fishing off the disputed territory's coast and announced a legal framework to back up its claim to the area's resources.
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22 January 2009
http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKLM76471920090122

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Western Sahara independence movement Polisario said on Thursday the European Union must stop boats fishing off the disputed territory's coast and announced a legal framework to back up its claim to the area's resources.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975 after Spanish colonial forces withdrew, sparking a low-level guerrilla war with Polisario that ended in 1991 when the United Nations brokered an uneasy ceasefire.

The territorial dispute is still unresolved but Morocco has poured money into defending the majority of Western Sahara it controls, developed its mineral resources and fisheries and awarded oil exploration permits to foreign firms.

Polisario has long accused Morocco of illegally exploiting Western Sahara's wealth and put pressure on foreign companies working with Morocco in the territory to cease their activities.

Morocco says ancestral rights justify its presence in the territory and that most Sahrawis consider themselves Moroccan.

On Thursday Polisario said its would-be government -- the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) -- had created a 200- mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) giving it exclusive rights over the area's offshore oil and gas and fisheries.

"The EEZ also provides the legal framework for the SADR's offshore licensing regime, which is currently receiving international bids for offshore oil and gas exploration activities," it said in a statement.

SADR President Mohammed Abdelaziz called on foreign governments and companies to reconsider agreements with Morocco that do not explicitly exclude Western Sahara.

"In particular we call upon the European Union to suspend immediately the 2005 EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement in its current form, and to prevent EU vessels from encroaching upon the waters of Western Sahara," he said in the statement.

The U.N. has overseen four rounds of slow-moving talks to resolve what is Africa's longest-running territorial dispute but analysts say neither Morocco nor Polisario is willing to concede enough ground to allow for meaningful negotiations. (Editing by Tim Pearce)


    




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The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law. The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.
عريضة لوقف النهب

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يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"




Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.

READ ALSO

10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact






Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries