The Western Sahara Campaign-NZ notes a new development in the saga of Ballance Agri-Nutrients imports of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
As reported by the international NGO Western Sahara Resource Watch Ballance has ordered a new replacement cargo. The vessel, Common Spirit, is set to arrive in Tauranga, New Zealand, on or about the 25th of June. Ballance has the vessel taking the route around Cape Horn so as to avoid any likelihood of the cargo’s detention en route. As has already happened to two other vessels with phosphate cargo. One, belonging to Ballance is still impounded in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The other heading for Agrium, in Canada, carried on after a bond was paid to a Panama court.
The Common Spirit loaded the cargo in both Jorf Lasfar, Morocco, and Laayoune, Western Sahara. It is clearly carrying Western Sahara phosphate rock without any view to the wishes of the people of Western Sahara. People who have remained under occupation, and exploitation, by Morocco for the last forty years.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients have a moral obligation to explain to their New Zealand farmer cooperative members and to the people of New Zealand their position. Why does the business feel that it can continue to exploit the resource of the Western Sahara people without any regard to their views? Why does the business not explain to its members, and to New Zealanders, the complete story of the provenance of the phosphate that enriches pasture in New Zealand?
Further details of the story of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients cargo that Common Spirit is carrying can be found here – http://www.wsrw.org/a105x3903