Western Sahara is part of Morocco, San Leon states before drilling
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Irish/UK oil company San Leon Energy stated to Irish media today that next month's drilling is located in "Moroccan Southern Provices". Only one government in the world labels the occupied territory in similar way: Morocco. Irish lawyers warn of legal steps.
Published: 13.07 - 2015 13:18Printer version    
San Leon Energy stated to  Irish Independent today,  that their partnership with Morocco will be to the benefit Morocco and to the solution of the conflict. Its remarkably political terminology. It seems to disagree with investors who state that such oil industry undermines the UN peace process though its support to the illegal Moroccan occupation.

The Independent quoted San Leon with the following:

"San Leon's operations are in keeping with our obligations under international law and work for the betterment of all persons in the Southern Provinces of Morocco. [..] Our operations in the Southern Provinces are in line with fundamental ethical norms, and actions to inhibit them are not merely incorrect but work counter to the interests of the local population and against the final resolution of conflict. [..] The well we are now seeking to drill will ultimately determine if there are commercial quantities of hydrocarbon resources in the area. [..] To object to our operations here, as some do, on the basis that they may further the interests of the government of Morocco is tantamount to objecting to the building of roads because tanks may drive on them - so may school buses, and goods vehicles, and ambulances," he said.

San Leon (previously called Island Oil and Gas) thus holds the same position as Kosmos Energy and Total, in that it does not need to take into account the wishes of the people of the territory. None of the companies have sought the consent of the people of Western Sahara. The contracts are signed with the government of Morocco, which refuses the territory to be a Non-Self-Governing Territory. The UN has concluded that any further exploration of oil in Western Sahara must be in accordance with the wishes and interests people of the Western Sahara. San Leon has consistently avoided to use the words 'Western Sahara' in its reports and company presentations.

According to Irish Independent, the Irish organisation of lawers Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), told will take legal action against the company over the plan.

"The right of a people to choose how or even whether to use their natural resources is one of the cornerstones of international human rights law", GLAN stated.

San Leon Energy has to WSRW's knowledge never responded to letters of concern from civil society. On only one occasion in the past has the company made comments to the media over the controversy: In an interview with Irish TV station RTE in 2011, a company representative stated it does not need to pay attention to the Saharawis, as "they are not representative".

    
News:

07.12 - 2017 / 07.12 - 2017Siemens: the Moroccan king's wind turbine supplier in Western Sahara
05.12 - 2017 / 13.11 - 2017EU fish support to Morocco builds Western Sahara fish industry
21.11 - 2017 / 11.11 - 2017Paradise Papers: New light on Glencore structure
10.11 - 2017 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
31.10 - 2017 / 12.10 - 2017Moroccan wind energy in occupied Western Sahara passing 40%
31.10 - 2017 / 31.10 - 2017Interview with Jytte Guteland: 1 of 5 MEPs evicted from Western Sahara
30.10 - 2017 / 10.10 - 2017UK company building wind park in occupied Western Sahara
26.10 - 2017 / 26.10 - 2017Kosmos surveying oil potential near Dakhla again?
24.10 - 2017 / 24.10 - 2017EU Parliament approves Morocco aviation deal including Western Sahara
24.10 - 2017 / 24.10 - 2017EU-Morocco trade talks: replacing Saharawis with Moroccans
23.10 - 2017 / 20.10 - 2017Imminent vote on EU-Morocco aviation deal, covering Western Sahara
11.10 - 2017 / 10.10 - 2017Wärtsilä to build power plant in occupied Western Sahara
09.10 - 2017 / 09.10 - 2017Morocco announces 500% increase of agriculture zone in occupied Dakhla
27.09 - 2017 / 26.09 - 2017EU appears clueless on import levels from Western Sahara
27.09 - 2017 / 25.09 - 2017New report: Sweden must advise companies on Western Sahara
01.09 - 2017 / 01.09 - 2017Saharawi organisations slam EU over trade talks with Morocco
19.07 - 2017 / 18.07 - 2017Civilian court follows military court against Saharawi activists
13.07 - 2017 / 13.07 - 2017Western Sahara has won its conflict cargo case in South Africa
10.07 - 2017 / 10.07 - 2017Siemens inconsistently supporting occupations
05.07 - 2017 / 05.07 - 2017Sign up! Stop EU trade talks with Morocco regarding Western Sahara!




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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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