WSRW today launched a new report, regarding the controversial operations of Geofyzika Kraków, a subsidiary of the Polish company PGNiG. The report, in Polish, outlines the operations and main concerns of the involvement of the company. Download the report 'Skónczmy Poszukiwania Razem' here.
This is the story: • Geofyzika Kraków announced on 23 March 2016 to have signed a licence for seismic studies in «Morocco». One month later, it was revealed by groups in Western Sahara that the operation was in fact taking place in occupied Western Sahara. • Geofyzika Kraków is a 100% subsidiary of Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG).PGNiG is 70.4% owned by the State Treasury of Poland, while the remaining 29.6% of the shares are floated on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. • Neither Geofyzika Kraków nor its mother firm PGNiG have sought the consent of the people of the territory before starting the operations. Oil activities which fail to take into account the wishes of the Saharawis are illegal, according to the UN. • Saharawi groups have protested the engagement. Morocco does not produce oil, but is depending on imports. Morocco’s claim to the land is rejected by the international community. • 9 large trucks of Geofyzika Kraków are criss-crossing the territory of Western Sahara, shooting sound waves into the ground. This will reveal the potential for Moroccan illegal oil drilling in the occupied territory. • In June 2016, PGNiG restructured its activities, allowing its subsidiary Geofizyka Torun to take over GK. • Supporting a Moroccan oil programme in the territory it occupies naturally contributes to complicate the UN efforts to solve he conflict, and prolongs the sufferings of the people of the territory.
WSRW RECOMMENDS PNGiG: -demonstrate its commitment to international law, human rights and basic Corporate Social Responsibility standards by immediately and publicly withdrawing from their involvement in Western Sahara and not renewing activities until the dispute over Western Sahara is resolved.
WSRW RECOMMENDS THE GOVERNMENT OF POLAND: -as majority owner of PNGiG to demonstrate its support to the UN peace process, to principles of international law, and to the duty of non-recognition of illegal occupations of the Government of Poland, and to instruct the company to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from Western Sahara.
WSRW RECOMMENDS PNGiG’s OWNERS: -to put pressure on the company so as their subsidary immediately withdraws from the occupied territory.
WSRW on 27 June 2016 sent a letter to PGNiG urging the company "to immediately terminate all operations relating to seismic studies in Western Sahara".
Western Sahara Resource Watch overed the entry of the company into Western Sahara on 9 June 2016 and a labour rights dispute between the company and its local staff, on the 22 June 2016.
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.