Teodor and Thea from Green Youth of Norway were picked out of the bus they were sitting in, and refused further travel into occupied Western Sahara by Moroccan police.
Published 23 January 17
Teodor Nordenstrøm Bruu and Thea Marie Henriksen Hæhre of Green Youth of Norway were last night supposed to travel into occupied Western Sahara.
However, they never got that far.
At 04:30 AM this morning, Norwegian time, the bus they were driving in stopped, and Moroccan police came in, singling them out.
"Once outside of the bus, we met four other Norwegians who had also been stopped in the same control", Ms Hæhre said in phone from Southern Morocco.
"We were all told that we were not welcome to Western Sahara", Hæhre told.
Afterwards they were ordered to take a car away from the city they had arrived to, and they are right now being transported northwards in Morocco".
"We wanted an explanation as to why we were not allowed to travel further, but they refused us any explanation apart from saying we were not welcome", Bruu told the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.
Bruu explained that it is important the conflict finds a solution through a referendum which Morocco and the UN promised them.
"It should not be necessary to wait for the peaceful and legitimate struggle for self-determination erupts into violence. They have the right on their side", Bruu told.
The two youth politicians wanted to meet people in the territory to learn about the situation which the Saharawis are living under, and how the fisheries resources are managed in an injust manner. Instead of having the fisheries resources used in a way which the Saharawis are themselves in control over, the fish is transformed into oil and shipped to the EU on board Norwegian tankers.
On 23 January 2017, the Norwegian tanker 'Key Bay' arrived France with fish oil from Western Sahara. This is the first shipment of any product from Western Sahara since the Court of Justice of the EU found that such trade could not take place. The transport has caused an international stir.
"The Saharawis who fled the occupation, and who live in refugee camps in neighbouring Algeria, receive one box of sardines every month in humanitarian aid. With that in mind, it i grotesque that two Norwegian shipping companies [Sea Tank Chartering and Gezina] participate in the shipping out of fish oil made by Moroccan settlers. The Norwegian transports of this oil is legitimising and financing the occupation - and it has to end", Hæhre told.
Seven groups have been expelled from Western Sahara, or denied access to the territory, over the course of the last two days.