In a letter 30 March 2013, Frente Polisario called on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to intervene to stop the Moroccan-French oil exploration offshore occupied Western Sahara.
Published 16 April 2013
Over the past year, the Moroccan government has carried out an intensive seabed seismic survey off the coast of Western Sahara without any consultation of the local Saharawi people.
The survey has been conducted on behalf of the French petroleum company Groupe Total SA. The Saharawi authorities first objected to the the seismic survey company carrying out the activities in August 2012, and then to the Groupe Total SA as their operation was uncovered. On both occasions, Polisario asked the exploration in the occupied territory to be halted.
In a letter to Ban Ki-Moon on 30 March 2013, Frente Polisario reminds the UN Secretary-General of the so-called Corell opinion on Total's licence, where the UN Legal Councel underlines that such oil operations would be illegal if the Saharawis were not consenting to it.
"We are especially concerned that these survey activities indicate that drilling for oil and gas and the wholesale exploitation of petroleum in Western Sahara will soon follow. That would be another serious violation of international law and of my people’s inalienable right to exercise control over their natural resources", stated the letter from the Secretary-General of Frente Polisario.
The letter seeks the "urgent intervention" of Ban and that a "clear message must be sent by the UN and the Security Council that the present activities of Groupe Total SA are illegal and should not be allowed to continue".
"The contract was not extended in December 2015", company writes on website. It has also confirmed that it has "no plans" to return to the territory, which lies in the part of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation.
The Norwegian insurance company Storebrand has blacklisted both phosphate and oil companies involved in occupied Western Sahara. Among them are the French company Total, which are now back in from the cold after they withdrew from the territory.
The French multinational oil company has announced that it is no longer pursuing oil search offshore Western Sahara. "More good news for the Saharawi people. We urge the remaining oil companies to follow suit", stated WSRW.