Saharawi refugees protesting Siemens in occupied Western Sahara
Article image

Yesterday, Saharawis gathered to protest Siemens, which is developing the energy infrastructure in Western Sahara for the Moroccan government.

Published 28 September 2016

As Morocco invaded Western Sahara in 1975, half the population had to flee. Today, 40 years later, they still live as refugees in neighbouring Algeria. 

On the evacuated lands, the German company Siemens is building wind farms for the Moroccan government. The largest farm, Foum El Oued is a 50 Megawatt complex, near the capital city of El Aaiún.

“By investing in such infrastructure on the occupied land, Morocco naturally becomes less inclined to take part in the UN peace process. The involvement of Siemens is deeply concerning, as it contributes to cement the occupation”, Jalihenna Mohamed stated, of the Saharawi Campaign Against the Plunder.

His group is working on denouncing the involvement of foreign firms operating in the occupied territory. Siemens has never responded to whether it has sought the consent of the people of the territory.

For the protest yesterday, which took part in the refugee camp called Auserd, hundreds of people walked from their homes to the gathering place where the protest took place. 

Mohamed is worried that Morocco at the COP22 climate talks in November might receive unfounded praise from the international community. He explains that the material which Morocco is already presenting for the COP22 contains false information, as Morocco suggests that its Siemens projects in Western Sahara are located in Morocco. They are not. 

“An increasing part of Morocco’s energy projects are not in Morocco, but in Western Sahara. No state in the world recognises Morocco’s groundless claims to our land. We call on all attendees of the COP22 climate talks to be careful when referring to the Moroccan projects – as many of them are not in fact located in Morocco, but rather contributing to the conflict in neighbouring Western Sahara, which is under annexation”, stated Mohamed. 

The two companies which operate the Foum El Oued are German Siemens and the Moroccan company Nareva. 

Western Sahara Resource Watch covered the controversies of renewable energy in occupied Western Sahara in the 2013 report 'Dirty Green March'.

Download high resolution versions of the images below, pictures can be used freely. 

siemens32_609.jpg
Download
98d6siemens42_609.jpg
Download
siemens52_609.jpg
Download
siemens82_609.jpg
Download

Siemens Energy in total split

The CEO of Siemens Energy denounces the occupation of Ukraine, but does not “have the mandate to take a political position on such issues or to confirm a territorial status” in the occupied territory of Western Sahara where the company operates for the Moroccan government.

08 February 2023

EU Commission continues to disregard EU Court

The EU Commission has authored a new report detailing how Moroccan settlers benefit from a trade agreement that has been found illegal by the EU Court of Justice multiple times.

07 February 2023

Shipping company responses to the report P for Plunder 2023

The WSRW report P for Plunder 2023 to be published in March 2023 will contain information on all vessels that departed occupied Western Sahara from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022.
 

06 February 2023

NewMed insists following law - but which?

The Israeli company that signed an agreement for hydrocarbon exploration in occupied Western Sahara claims to follow “the laws in force”. But of which country?

06 February 2023