Western Sahara Resource Watch yesterday published the report “Powering the Plunder – What Morocco and Siemens are hiding at COP22, Marrakech", documenting how the alleged "sustainable energy" projects of Morocco and the German company Siemens in fact contribute to cementing the illegal occupation of Western Sahara. The project also creates increased profits on Morocco's illegal mining in the territory it occupies.
Former UN Legal Counsel, Hans Corell, yesterday told Danish media that such an operation is in violation of international law and basic business principles.
According to OCP, the Moroccan state-owned phosphate company which plunders the territory, 95% of the required energy is provided by windmills. These were built by German company Siemens, which refuses to answer questions as to whether it has sought the consent of the people of the territory. Siemens won the tender by partnering with a company of the Moroccan king.
Try entering these coordinates right into Google, and see the windmills for yourself. 27°01'34.0"N 13°22'48.7"W
The mills are located right next to the phosphate production plant it is supplying with energy. The photographs below show even how the OCP conveyor belt that transports the rock from the depleting mine inland out to the Atlantic Ocean, cuts right through the windmill park.
Morocco militarily invaded the territory of Western Sahara in 1975, forcing half the people to flee. Severe human rights violations are being committed against people who advocate for self-determination. Over 100 UN resolutions call for the Saharawi people's right to self-determination to be respected.
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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 five 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.