In two to three days, the vessel 'Atwood Achiever' will enter the waters of occupied Western Sahara. A few weeks later, the drilling will commence.
The platform will most probably arrive Western Sahara waters on Friday, 15 November 2014, depending on the length of the stop-over offshore Senegal.
It was last seen departing from Namibia 2 weeks ago (see video below).
The vessel has sailed directly from there in the direction Western Sahara and is now offshore the Senegalese city of Saint Louis, where it is apparently bunkering supplies. It is accompanied by two anchor handling/supply vessels, Eland (IMO 9653757) and Springbok (IMO 9683996) who have sailed in from Mauritanian waters. The two latter vessels are owned by US company Edison Chouest Offshore LLC.
Any new oil exploration in Western Sahara is in violation of international law, according to the UN. The people of the territory protest the engagement, which the operator, Kosmos Energy, is undertaking in partnership with the occupying power of Morocco. Read more about the controversial and illegal oil programme here in our report A Platform for Conflict.
Both supply vessels, Eland and Springbook, sailed southwards from Mauritanian waters today down to Saint Louis to assist the vessel.
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.