The African Union summit in July formally adopted a policy document calling for the halt of mineral plunder on the continent.
The “Addis Ababa Declaration on Building a Sustainable Future for Africa’s Extractive Industry – From Vision to Action” adopted by the Second African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible For Mineral Resources and Development, sets out to put an immediate halt to the unfair plunder of mineral resources on the African continent.
The Report of the Second AU Conference of Ministers Responsible of Mineral Resources and Development was formally adopted by the Twenty-First Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council via decision (EX.CL/ Dec.714(XXI)) at the latest AU Summit held in Addis Ababa on 9-16 July 2012. The declaration itself was first made in December 2011.
The first operative paragraph of the declaration reads as follows:
“Hereby: RECOGNISE the sovereign rights of AU Member States in protecting and safeguarding their natural resources from plunder and exploitation by all actors”.
The Saharawi Arabic Democratic Republic is a full member of the African Union (AU).
In 2002, the UN Legal Counsel stated that any further mineral exploration or exploitation in Western Sahara would be in violation of international law if the local people were not consulted. They are not. Instead, Morocco has been speeding up its illegal exploration programmes in the territory, both for oil and gas offshore and onshore, as well as phosphates and minerals onshore.
Morocco is the only state in Africa not member of the AU, because of the Western Sahara issue. Morocco occcupies a section of the territory of Western Sahara.
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union this week asked its new member, Morocco, to not carry out further exploration and exploitation of the natural resources in Western Sahara.
... and finds the ongoing exploration and exploitation of the territory's resources in violation of international law.
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 different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Italian company Enel is one of the firms that have taken the exact same approach as the EU when carrying out ‘stakeholder consultations' in Western Sahara - a procedure now found invalid by the EU Court of Justice.