Since 2016, no company has right to invest in Western Sahara without Sahrawis’ consent

Algiers, 27 September 2021 (SPS) - Regardless of the European Court’s verdict expected on 29 September, no foreign company has the right to invest in Western Sahara as part of an agreement concluded with Morocco, in accordance with judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered in 2016 and which clearly distinguishes between the Moroccan and Sahrawi territories, stressed the Polisario Front’s lawyer Gilles Devers.

“It is clear that foreign companies are still investing in the occupied Sahrawi territories, but everything has changed “at the juridical level).  It was easy to say: we conclude an agreement with Morocco and then it can be de facto applied (on Western Sahara), but this has irremediably ended,” under the judgment of the justice of 2016, the lawyer told APS. 

Devers is expecting that the verdict, that will be delivered on 29 September 2021 by the European Court, will reinforce 2016’s decision which “declared the illegality of previous practices" and "that it will allow us to found the appeal” (action through which it is possible to demand compensation).

According to him, the issue will be to know whether the European Court will recognize the Polisario Front as the representative of the Sahrawi people, considered as the only side capable of giving its consent concerning the investments on its territory.