Namibia roundly criticizes Spain over involvement in Western Sahara resources plunder

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Namibia has roundly criticized Spain in Geneva for its involving in the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara resources, claiming that Madrid “evaded its international responsibilities.”

On Thursday, during the periodic review of the human rights situation in Spain, Namibia regretted that the recommendations it had formulated on this subject were only partially accepted by this country.

The task force on the universal periodic review of Spain included in its report published in March a series of recommendations made by Namibia and Timor-Leste on the economic activities of Spanish companies in occupied Western Sahara.

The two countries then expressed concern over Spain’s involvement in this planned looting.

The meeting, held Thursday at the Human Rights Council (HRC), was devoted to Spain’s responses to the UN task force

The Madrid representative in Geneva said that Spain “generally supports these recommendations” but “could only apply a part of them”.

Hiding behind false pretenses, he argued that the full implementation of these recommendations faced legal, budgetary and constitutional obstacles.

Namibia’s representative replied by explaining “that there can be no excuses for the illegal exploitation of natural resources of Western Sahara population.”

Namibia affirmed that the right to exploit these resources belongs exclusively to the Sahrawis, recalling that this right, enshrined in Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and that of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, must be respected by the occupying power.

“We therefore urge Spain to do what is necessary, to guarantee the full implementation of these recommendations. It is a duty towards the people of Western Sahara who continue to live in poverty, while their resources are plundered by the occupying power and third country companies,” said the representative of Namibia.

In the recommendations of this periodic report, Namibia and Timor-Leste demanded from Spain to “refrain from any economic activity in Western Sahara territory, without the free, prior and informed consent” of its people.

Namibia has also demanded the adoption by Spain of appropriate legislation to “ensure that Spanish natural and legal persons do not illegally participate in the exploitation” of these resources.

(SPS)

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