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.
A meeting in the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) on 20 March 2017 addressed the issue of Western Sahara. The council stated its preoccupation over the situation in the territory. Morocco, since this year a member of the union, failed to show up at the meeting.
The PSC issued a thorough statement of the resolution on the conflict.
The council refers to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU, calling the decision "important", and requests Morocco to halt further exploitation of the territory:
"Stresses the urgent need to address the issue of the illegal exploration and exploitation of the Territory’s natural resources, bearing in mind the call made in the UN Secretary-General’s report of 10 April 2014, for all relevant actors, in the light of the increased interest in the natural resources of Western Sahara, to “recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount”, in accordance with Chapter XI, Article 73 of the Charter”, as well as in line with the many legal opinions and judgments issued by international and regional Organizations on the issue. In this respect, Council urges the Kingdom of Morocco not to enter into contracts for the exploration and exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources"
The PSC statement can also be downloaded here.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights concludes Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara to be a serious violation of the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination and independence.
... and finds the ongoing exploration and exploitation of the territory's resources in violation of international law.
The African Union summit in July formally adopted a policy document calling for the halt of mineral plunder on the continent.
The African Development Bank has not funded the construction of a controversial Moroccan energy cable in Western Sahara, even though public tender documents suggested that it would.