Before the end of the year, the first drilling in occupied Western Sahara will take place.
The drilling will start in violation of international law, as described by the UN Legal Counsel.
“No state recognizes these waters as Moroccan, and such drilling is found illegal by the UN. This platform symbolizes the worst kind of drilling operation possible to imagine, it is simply a robbery of a people's wealth. It will directly contribute to undermine the UN peace talks”, stated Erik Hagen, chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW).
“This drilling takes place outside of Moroccan national waters. So who will cover the bill if there is an oil spill onto the Canary beaches? The lack of legal framework and the ultradeep location of the drilling, means that there is a high risk involved for the Canaries. It is peculiar to see that Canary government allows its port in Las Palmas to be used to facilitate such kamikaze project”, stated Hagen.
The people of Western Sahara have carried out numerous protests over Moroccan government plans to do its first drilling in Western Sahara ever. Kosmos has not sought the consent of the people of the territory.
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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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.