Siemens inconsistently supporting occupations
siemens42_609.jpg

While the German industrial mastodon has no problems in delivering turbines to the area of Western Sahara that is under Moroccan occupation, it goes out of its way to distance itself from similar deliveries to Crimea.
Printer version    
Siemens today issued a press release saying gas turbine sets it had delivered for a project in southern Russia, had been moved to Crimea "against our will". "This development constitutes a clear breach of Siemens' delivery contracts, which clearly forbid our customer from making deliveries to Crimea", the statement reads. "Over the last few months, our customer has confirmed to us numerous times in writing that a delivery to Crimea would not occur. As a consequence, Siemens will initiate criminal charges against the responsible individuals." The customer in this matter is the Russian state-owned engineering company Technopromexport.

At the same time, Siemens has no reservations whatsoever in supplying wind turbines to the parts of Western Sahara that have been under Moroccan military control since 1975, in defiance of international law. Siemens has supplied 22 turbines for the Foum el Oued wind park, which supplies 95% of the energy required for Morocco's highly controversial plunder of non-renewable minerals from Western Sahara.

The firm has also won a tender that includes the construction of two additional wind parks in the occupied territory, in cooperation with Italy's Enel Green Energy and Nareva, a Moroccan wind energy firm owned by the Palace. Those plants will have a combined capacity of 400 MW. Read more about Siemens' involvement in Morocco's wind energy projects in occupied Western Sahara in WSRW's report "Powering the Plunder", published in November 2016.

"Regardless of political disputes, we believe that a working infrastructure will help to improve the economic conditions, and as a consequence the situation of the people in the West Sahara", Siemens replied in May 2012 to WSRW's letter of inquiry.

After years of trying to get answers from Siemens with regard to legal concerns and human rights principles pertaining to its activity in Western Sahara, the firm finally wrote to WSRW in October 2016 that “Your questions that deal with the legal and political status of Western Sahara deal with matters of international public law. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the subject of international public law (such as international bodies, states and others) to deal with these matters. The views of NGOs are, of course, also of great value. Companies like ours, on the other hand, refrain as a matter of policy from taking positions or making judgements on such issues”.

"Siemens' scarce comments on its involvement in Western Sahara suggest that the firm cares rather little about the legal status of the territory in which it operates, or the rights of the people of such territory", says Erik Hagen from WSRW. "It would appear that the firm simply wants to avoid being seen as violating EU sanctions in Crimea, rather than having any principled stance grounded in international law."

The European Union imposed sanctions barring EU firms providing Crimea with energy technology, after Russia's 2014 annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, a move seen by the EU as breaking international law.

In December 2016, the EU's supreme court issued a judgment stipulating that Western Sahara is a territory distinct and separate from Morocco, and that as such, no EU trade or association agreement with Morocco could be applied to Western Sahara, without the explicit consent of the people of the territory.

In February 2016, the European Parliament's Policy Department published a report on the need for a coherent EU policy with regard to the three occupations of Western Sahara, Palestine and Crimea. In all three cases, plunder is illegal, the report states.


    
News:

16.10 - 2017 / 27.08 - 2010Support Western Sahara Resource Watch
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!
02.07 - 2017 / 01.07 - 2017New Chinese interest in oil search in occupied Western Sahara?
30.06 - 2017 / 30.06 - 2017Here is Dura Bulk unloading Western Sahara sand in Tenerife
30.06 - 2017 / 29.06 - 2017Western Sahara solar plants expected to be operational in 2018
21.06 - 2017 / 21.06 - 2017Polisario warns shipping industry of more vessel detentions
20.06 - 2017 / 20.06 - 2017Isle of Man shipping company exits Western Sahara until settlement
16.06 - 2017 / 16.06 - 2017New report reveals the companies transporting conflict phosphate rock
15.06 - 2017 / 15.06 - 2017Saharawis won first round in conflict mineral cargo court case
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Wisby Tankers continues fueling occupation of Western Sahara
12.06 - 2017 / 12.06 - 2017Swedish bank excludes phosphates industry in Western Sahara
06.06 - 2017 / 19.05 - 201715 questions that Atlas Copco does not want to answer




EN ES FR DE AR

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.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
The Western Sahara oil curse

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.

WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy