News
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Today, the Norwegian government pension fund excluded San Leon Energy Plc from its investment portfolios.
Published 04 March 2016
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Several EU Member States have issued statements indicating their support to Council's decision to appeal the European Court’s decision to annul the EU’s agricultural agreement with Morocco. But why is that, really?

Published 17 March 2016
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In December 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union annulled the trade agreement between Morocco and the European Union in so far as it was applied in Western Sahara. The Council of the European Union has now formally appealed that decision. The reasons for the appeal are still not public.
 

Published 23 February 2016
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Tomorrow, a group of Saharawi political prisoners will commence hunger strikes to make the Moroccan government respond to their request for appeal. Some are serving life sentences for their participation in the 2010 mass-protest against Morocco's marginalisation of the people of the Western Sahara territory.
Published 23 February 2016
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WSRW has asked Morocco’s state-owned phosphate company to share the legal opinions that supposedly prove its activities in occupied Western Sahara are lawful with the legitimate owners of the territory’s phosphate reserves; the Saharawi people.

Published 22 February 2016
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"A hostile act likely to perpetuate the conflict and colonialism in Western Sahara". The Peace and Security Council of the African Union reiterates its position on the illegal exploitaiton of Western Sahara's natural resources.

Published 18 February 2016
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The municipality of Gladsaxe, Denmark, has terminated a supply contract for de-icing salt due to its connections to Western Sahara.

Published 17 February 2016
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WSRW’s repeated questions on the organisation’s structure or financial backers for the contested event on occupied land remain unanswered.

Published 19 February 2016
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One of the biggest purchasers of Western Sahara phosphates during the years of occupation, the Lithuanian fertilizer producer Lifosa, has confirmed to WSRW that it will halt all further imports from the territory.

Published 25 February 2016
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"Coordination of Unemployed Saharawi demand benefits from the territory’s natural resources. Our resources can provide us with jobs", banners on the streets of El Aaiun read during yesterday's protests.
 

Published 15 February 2016
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Coop, one of Switzerland's largest grocery chains, has announced it will cease to provide tomatoes from Western Sahara from 2017 onwards.

Published 10 February 2016
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In December 2015, the US United Methodist Church announced it had divested from 39 companies. Five of those are involved in occupied Western Sahara.

Published 03 February 2016
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Morocco's state-owned phosphate company, responsible for the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara's phosphate reserves, was ditched over human rights issues in Western Sahara.
Published 02 February 2016
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... and they ask the European Commission to provide clarity with regard to the annulment of the EU-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.
Published 01 February 2016
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has confirmed that it will not provide financial support to projects located in occupied Western Sahara.

Published 25 January 2016
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Here's what happens to peaceful demonstrations demanding basic rights to work and a decent living in Western Sahara. As protests spread from El Aaiun to other towns, the Moroccan police responded with the usual ferocity.
Published 25 January 2016
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The Luxembourg government fund has blacklisted the American oil company Kosmos Energy and its Scottish partner Cairn Energy due to "association to illegal exploitation of natural resources (Western Sahara)".
Published 22 January 2016
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Saharawi unemployed graduates have taken their protest to the Casablanca headquarters of OCP, Morocco's state-owned phosphate company that is exploiting occupied Western Sahara's phosphate mine. Eye-witnesses report brutal police intervention and at least one Saharawi being severely injured. WSRW will update this article as news from the ground comes in.
Published 20 January 2016
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When presenting its new report on Israeli settlement products today, Human Rights Watch cited the case of Western Sahara. The NGO states that "countries should not import goods produced in Western Sahara labeled as Made in Morocco or under preferential tariff agreements with Morocco".

Published 19 January 2016
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As protests against Morocco's denial of the Saharawis' social and economic human rights have become daily news in occupied Western Sahara, eye-witnesses report a police siege targeting the hunger striking Saharawi graduates.

Published 18 January 2016
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An American and a Canadian citizen were today kicked out of occupied Western Sahara. The two wanted to interview Saharawis regarding the US-Canadian exploitation of natural resources in the territory.
Published 17 January 2016
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A New Year's gift of an estimated US $3,7 million. That's what Australia's Incitec Pivot paid the Moroccan government for its first 2016 shipment of phosphate rock sourced in occupied Western Sahara.
 

Published 12 January 2016
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A heated start of the New Year in occupied Western Sahara, as unemployed Saharawi graduates step up their protest against Morocco's discriminatory employment practices by starting a hunger strike.
Published 12 January 2016
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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.

Published 21 December 2015
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Danish-German Siemens Wind Power and Italian Enel Green Power have won the tender to construct five wind farms in Morocco. Only, two of planned farms are located outside of Morocco, and inside occupied Western Sahara. WSRW had warned them from taking part in the tender.

Published 15 December 2015
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Two Swedish fishermen are obliged to pay a half a million euro fine for fishing in occupied Western Sahara.
Published 15 December 2015
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The European Union has appealed the judgement from the EU Court of Justice.
Published 14 December 2015
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The European Court of Justice has annulled the EU-Morocco trade relations because they included the territory of occupied Western Sahara. The businessman who will be most affected by that ruling turns out to be the Moroccan king.
Published 13 December 2015
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Several Saharawis were allegedly injured in a demonstration in El Aaiun yesterday, in which youth demanded employment opportunities on their own land. Among them a 34 year old law graduate.

Published 13 December 2015

The decision to annul the trade agreement between the EU and Morocco was this week-end welcomed by the AU. "An important step in the global efforts aimed at ensuring that the natural resources of Western Sahara, as non-self-governing territory, are protected for the benefit of its own people", stated the AU. 

Published 13 December 2015
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Starting this Monday 14 December, the EU and Morocco will meet in Brussels for another round of talks on an even deeper trade partnership. Just two days ago, the European Court of Justice annulled the EU-Morocco Free Trade Agreement over Western Sahara. WSRW calls on the EU to respect that judgement by explicitly excluding the territory of Western Sahara from the ongoing trade talks.
Published 12 December 2015

The EU-Moroccan agreement that was annulled by the Court of Justice of the EU yesterday was highly controversial even at the time when it was approved in 2012. Here is the story behind that approval.

Published 11 December 2015
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The European Court of Justice has this morning ordered the annulment of a trade agreement between Morocco and the European Union since it includes the territory of Western Sahara. "A landmark decision in the history of the occupation of Western Sahara", states WSRW. Press conference in Brussels, Friday.

Published 10 December 2015
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Double, yet bitter, irony. A proposed agreement on protective measures for products linked to specific geographical locations, fails manifestly in understanding the geographic stretch of Morocco.
Published 10 December 2015

Former UN officials and Danish civil society strongly critical to the plans of Vestas to bid for controversial energy projects in occupied Western Sahara.

Published 09 December 2015
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The Norwegian investor KLP today announced it is ditching Swiss multinational Glencore for violating fundamental ethical norms in occupied Western Sahara.
Published 08 December 2015
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At the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Morocco’s invasion into Western Sahara, the Moroccan king delivered a speech that leaves no doubt about his colonial intentions. Major lucrative projects are planned, and those who oppose them “will have to assume the responsibilities for their decisions”.

Published 08 November 2015
This common element in the discourse of all involved oil companies hinges on a misinterpretation of international law, and of the Makhzen control over economical activities in Morocco.
Published 06 November 2015

The companies that are involved in Morocco’s oil quest in occupied Western Sahara and their hired lobbyists have developed their own unique discourse to divert attention from the obvious fact that their activities are manifestly illegal and immoral. We decode the most common lies for you in this section. A crash-course in interpretative translation of Blood Oil Talk.

Published 06 November 2015
The companies that are operating in Western Sahara under an oil exploration licence granted by the Moroccan government, will go out of their way to stress the legality of their activities.
Published 06 November 2015
Even though the Saharawi people have an internationally recognized right to self-determination – the right to decide about the land and its resources – oil companies have become quite creative in completely ignoring that right, while making it appear as if they’re doing the opposite.
Published 06 November 2015
Oil companies looking for oil in Western Sahara will say that their operations should not be viewed as a political act. However, the oil industry in Western Sahara is about as political as it can get.
Published 06 November 2015
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Naming and shaming the involved companies is completely justified - whether it is out on the street, or in the offices of their shareholders.
Published 06 November 2015

Despite the protests from Saharawis, Morocco has to this day continued its illegal oil programme, through the Moroccan state owned oil company Office national des hydrocarbures et des mines, ONHYM. Seven oil and gas licences have so far been awarded in Western Sahara. The names of the blocks depicted on the map below use ONHYM's spelling. Scroll further down for more information about each block and its operators.

Published 29 December 2016
Social media activism has been known to spread into real change. Help create awareness - the crucial first step to change.
Published 06 November 2015
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Published 06 November 2015
The involved companies are led by people with names and addresses. Share your concerns with them.
Published 06 November 2015
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WSRW has received images of fish being dumped in the desert near the town of Dakhla to hide over-fishing. The pictures were taken two days ago.
Published 22 October 2015
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WSRW has received footage of Saharawis protesting in front of digging machines, supposedly owned by the Moroccan state owned phosphate company OCP. The Saharawis claim that Morocco is confiscating their land to allow more foreign investments in the occupied territory.
Published 20 October 2015
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In refering the case on the questionable legality of UK imports from Western Saharan products to the European Court of Justice, the UK Judge stated that "there is an arguable case of a manifest error by the [European] Commission in understanding and applying international law relevant to these agreements.”
 

Published 20 October 2015
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... and finds the ongoing exploration and exploitation of the territory's resources in violation of international law.

Published 19 October 2015
Morocco reacts furiously to a UN Treaty Body recommending the country to respect the Saharawi people's rights to self-determination and natural resources.
Published 16 October 2015
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A UN Treaty Body has, for the first time, issued a set of strong recommendations pertaining to Western Sahara while reviewing Morocco's compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 
LATEST (16.10.2015): Morocco rejects UN recommendations.

Published 16 October 2015
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Massive numbers of Saharawi refugees gathered last weekend to send a clear message to Irish oil company San Leon Energy which is looking for oil in their occupied homeland: "San Leon: go home". Find high resolution footage of the protest, free of charge.

Published 15 October 2015
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Irish oil company San Leon Energy's exploratory drilling operation in occupied Western Sahara revealed the presence of gas, but thus far not of petroleum. The company will apply for a new licence with the Moroccan government and announces further seismic surveys to explore the potential petroleum reservoirs.
Published 01 October 2015

The journal Global Change, Peace & Security last week published a series of articles on natural resources in Western Sahara.

Published 12 September 2015
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Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.
Published 06 November 2015

WSRW has received footage of the drilling operation to take place in the territory under Moroccan occupation.

Published 09 September 2015
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Amid Saharawi protests, San Leon Energy has begun to drill an onshore well in occupied Western Sahara on 21 August.
Published 31 August 2015
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Saharawis in the occupied parts of Western Sahara continue to speak out against Irish/UK company San Leon Energy's plans to drill for oil in their homeland. "Stop supporting brutal occupation of Western Sahara", they say.
Published 12 August 2015


These videos of Saharawis denouncing the Irish/UK oil company's plans on the land they inhabit were shot last week. The persons live in occupied Western Sahara, exactly on the block where San Leon's drilling will take place in August, in violation of international law.
Published 27 July 2015
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The small UK company Xplorer PLC is looking for more capital to buy into the highly controversial Boujdour Offshore Shallow permit in occupied Western Sahara.

Published 23 July 2015
San Leon Energy "has the long-term interest of Morocco in mind", company chairman Oisin Fanning stated to Irish media today. The company plans drilling in the territory under illegal Moroccan occupation.
Published 23 July 2015
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“We urgently request that the Secretary-General condemn these activities, which are in clear violation of international law", the President of the Western Sahara Republic wrote in a letter to Ban Ki-Moon.
Published 20 July 2015
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Irish company is to drill for occupying power Morocco. Saharawi refugees who were forcibly displaced following the occupation, protest their plans.
Published 20 July 2015
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Irish/UK oil company San Leon Energy stated to Irish media today that next month's drilling is located in "Moroccan Southern Provices". Only one government in the world labels the occupied territory in similar way: Morocco. Irish lawyers warn of legal steps.
Published 13 July 2015
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The UK/Irish company San Leon is planning to drill in Western Sahara in a few weeks from now, even though UN says further exploration is illegal. WSRW condemns the plans. 
Read also: Western Sahara is part of Morocco, San Leon states before drilling

Published 13 July 2015
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Several seismic survey companies have deeply regretted their involvement in the occupied Western Sahara over the last decade. Now, Morocco is trying to partner with yet another one - this time onshore. WSRW warns industry to not fall into the trap.
Published 30 June 2015
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Morocco received 4 million € from the European Union to put a stop to the harmful use of driftnets. Morocco's Trade Union of Traditional and Coastal Fishermen claims that the entire sum was given to two individuals lacking any legal status to receive the money, and has taken the matter to court.
Published 26 June 2015
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German powerhouse MAN Diesel & Turbo has been contracted by the Moroccan government to extend the diesel generators in El Aaiun, occupied Western Sahara.
Published 25 June 2015
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Canned fish brands such as John West and Parmentier will soon sell fish from occupied Western Sahara. The owner of the brands, MW Brands, has begun a partnership with Oceamic Laayoune, a sardine cannery in the occupied territory.
Published 18 June 2015
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The European Court of Justice will assess the EU-Morocco agricultural agreement over Western Sahara, next Tuesday 16 June 2015, at 9:30 am.
Published 10 June 2015
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Late last week, a bulk vessel left the harbour of El Aaiun to set sail for the United States. In its holds? An estimated 50,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
Published 09 June 2015

See declaration on Australian imports made by the industry association.

Published 22 December 2007
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A Russian vessel that has been fishing illegally in occupied Western Sahara, sank a forthnight ago. The vessel is still leaking fuel oil in the area between the Canary Islands and Western Sahara.
Published 28 April 2015

The Norwegian insurance company Storebrand pushed Jinhui to stop transporting phosphates from occupied Western Sahara in 2008.

Published 24 April 2015
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An eight year long legal process in Sweden has come to an end. The two Swedish fishermen which were fishing offshore occupied Western Sahara without proper licences are found guilty.
Published 23 April 2015
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"No oil drilling should take place in the territory until the Saharawis have had the chance to exercise their right to self-determination and have freely and fairly decided the political status of their homeland", the appeal to the Security Council writes. Read the full letter, and list of signatures, here.

Published 15 April 2015
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One of the biggest shipping companies in Norway calls the arrival of a vessel to occupied Western Sahara "an unfortunate mistake", and guarantees to media it will never happen again.

Published 14 April 2015
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All Swedish government funds have now divested from Canadian company Agrium Inc, due to its phosphate imports from occupied Western Sahara. According to the fund's Ethical Council, Agrium cannot prove that the phosphate exploitation is done in accordance with the wishes and the interests of the Saharawi people.

Published 10 April 2015
See what Sparinvest wrote about them.
Published 05 April 2015
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«We admit having done a mistake. It feels very uncomfortable having contributed in supporting an occupation power», seismic company SeaBird stated today. The company completed an assignment for Glencore and New Age in occupied Western Sahara in December.
Published 01 April 2015

The New Zealand Fertiliser Association, representing the controversial importing companies in New Zealand is quoted by national TV that they are "aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".

Published 29 March 2015
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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union this week asked the UN Security Council to intervene in stopping the plunder of Western Sahara's natural resources. AU sends a warning message to companies taking part in the plunder.

Published 29 March 2015
The WSRW report A Platform for Conflict published in October 2014 left it unclear which company - of New Age and Glencore - was the operator of the Foum Ognit block. The answer is New Age.
Published 29 March 2015
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Cairn Energy launched today its annual report showing total failure to understand the background of the occupied territory in which it holds interest. Former UN Legal Counsel has already slammed the operation they carry out to be in violation of international law.
Published 27 March 2015
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So far, over 100 organisations worldwide have endorsed our open letter calling on the UN Security Council to condemn Morocco's oil development in Western Sahara. Has your organisation signed up yet? Join us here!
Published 23 March 2015
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Saharawi refugees yesterday protested against Swiss firm Glencore Plc, looking for oil in their occupied Western Sahara. See photos and videos of the protest here.
Published 18 March 2015

Any further oil exploration in Western Sahara is illegal unless the Saharawis want it themselves, according to the UN. The companies involved do not care. 

Published 14 March 2015
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See the vessel Frederikke Selmer arriving New Zealand with phosphates from occupied Western Sahara.

Published 27 November 2014
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WSRW launches today its overview report containing all clients that have last year purchased phosphate rock from Western Sahara. The report details all volumes, values and shipments relating to Morocco’s exports from the occupied territory during 2014.

Published 16 March 2015
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In celebration of International Women's Day, yesterday 8 March 2014, the women of the Saharawi refugee camps held a protest against foreign companies that are complicit in Morocco's plunder of their occupied homeland: Western Sahara.

Published 09 March 2015