Continental dodges question on Western Sahara – wsrw.org
mayo 1, 2019mayo 1, 2019
At last week’s annual meeting, the German company Continental failed to answer questions relating to the firm’s controversial agreement in occupied Western Sahara.
It still appears clear that the German multinational Continental has not tried to obtain permission from the Saharawi people upon engaging in occupied Western Sahara. The company provides key elements for a mineral mine that occupying power Morocco is operating in Western Sahara. In March, WSRW wrote that Continental’s contract is set to expire in June 2020.
The rubber giant on 26 April held its Annual General Meeting in the Hanover Congress Center in Germany. Saharawi refugee Khadja Bedati asked the company what it has done to obtain consent for its operations. Read Bedati’s statement here. Before finishing the talk, Ms Bedati was interrupted. See here.
The Chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Reitzle, did not answer the question. The Chairman stated that the agreement «already contains an obligation with regard to human rights».
He did not answer, however, why the agreement was signed in the first place, as the very agreement itself fails to respect the Saharawi people’s rights. Ms Bedati underlined that in order for such agreement to be in line with international law and the rights of the people of the territory, a consent from the latter has to be obtained. That right was underlined several times by the Court of Justice of the EU from 2016 onward.
WSRW in April published a report about Morocco’s exports from the controversial mine, and which Continental’s supplies are facilitating.
Here is the full answer of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Reitzle (unofficial translation):