Irish company San Leon is leading the way in the onshore exploration of oil and gas in occupied Western Sahara. In the photo above (from 2009), the Irish company's representatives were meeting with Moroccan government officials to sign an agreement for oil exploration in occupied Western Sahara.
By working with Morocco to pursue the natural riches of Western Sahara, San Leon is helping to steal resources belonging to the indigenous population of Western Sahara, in turn undermining efforts at the UN to resolve the 35-year-long dispute between Morocco and the Frente Polisario.
In a well-known legal opinion provided to the UN Security Council in early 2002, the UN's Legal Adviser pronounced that further exploration for oil resources in Western Sahara would be illegal if the Sahrawi people were not consulted and did not benefit from such activities.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
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.