Morocco has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975.
According to BBC today, the plans to continue with the Desertec programme might be placed on ice due to lack of funds.
The new development is due to the withdrawal of the two large industrial partners, Siemens and Bosch, from the project.
"If this project ends up being stopped, it is good news for the people of Western Sahara. Even though investments in green energy is highly needed internationally, no energy project should of course be placed in a territory occupied by force. Connecting the territory to the European energy grid in partnership with Moroccan government, would further contribute to uphold the status quo of the conflict", stated Erik Hagen, chair of WSRW.
Siemens is the same company that has also received criticism for planning to do a wind energy project in the occupied territory in partnership with a company of the King of Morocco. That project was prevented from receiving UN funding due to its location in the occupeid territory.
The UN treats Western Sahara as the last unresolved colonial dispute on the African continent. The UN special envoy to the conflict, Christopher Ross, warned last week the international community against accepting the status quo in the conflict.
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.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
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.
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.