This morning, Parliament unanimously passed a motion regarding Danish companies and public sector trading with Western Sahara, which is widely considered Africa’s last colony.
The foreign minister, Kristian Jensen, hopes the law will make it more difficult for the Danish private and public sector to invest in Western Sahara.
“We want Danish companies to know and comply with the laws that are adopted by the Danish Parliament,” Jensen said during the parliamentary debate that preceded the vote, according to Afrika Kontakt.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact organisations, such as Dansk Industri, to brief them on the Danish government and Parliament’s position on Western Sahara.”
Backing the UN
The news comes on the heels of the revelations in April that at least seven banks and 20 pension companies from Denmark were investing in companies which, against international law, were taking part in the extraction of natural resources from Western Sahara.
The motion also means that the Danish government will support the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, MINURSO, in being given a mandate to monitor and protect human rights in Western Sahara.
“This motion can really make a difference in relation to Western Sahara,” said Mette Gjerskov, the chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee.
“Everything depends on the UN, which is sometimes an uphill battle. But it will be an even greater task if democratic countries such as Denmark do not act.”
Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975 and its indigenous people, the Sahrawi, have never accepted or approved Morocco’s occupation or utilisation of the territory’s resources.