Do you know anything about the pro-Moroccan puppet organisations?
In an attempt to whitewash its operations in occupied Western Sahara, Kosmos Energy is meeting several sham organisations, picked from a list from the Moroccan authorities. WSRW has received a photo taken in such a meeting that took place this week. We need your help to find out who these individuals and organisations are.
In the towns of Dakhla, Boujdour and El Aaiun, Kosmos Energy will meet Moroccan officials and pro-Moroccan puppet groups that have been carefully vetted by the Moroccan government to make sure they will not say anything that strays from the official propaganda, namely; there are no problems in “the southern provinces" and Kosmos Energy is very welcome in the territory.
In its meetings today in El Aaiun and tomorrow in Boujdour, Kosmos will not meet with groups that advocate the Saharawi's right to self-determination or that defend their basic human rights. Nor will it see any demonstrations against its presence there, as Morocco's violent clamp-down on any such protest has driven Saharawis away from the streets and into their houses or the desert to express their dissent.
If you know anything about these pro-Moroccan individuals or groups which Kosmos Energy is meeting, please send us information on firstname.lastname@example.org. No known Saharawi group has, to WSRW's knowledge, ever been contacted by the involved oil companies.
Morocco does not allow registration of Saharawi groups that advocate human rights, the right to self-determination or independence, in spite of calls in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Leading opponents against the oil have been sentenced to life prison in Moroccan military court. According to the UN any further oil exploration in Western Sahara will be in violation of international law unless the people of the territory consent to it.
Kosmos does not seem eager to meet actual Saharawis. Saharawi groups have on numerous occasions sent protest letters to both Kosmos and its Scottish partner Cairn Energy.
One such letter, from a group that chooses to remain anonymous out of fear for consequences, reads: "Your company’s actions will bring more problems and would harbor violence and obstruction of peace. We suggest Kosmos Energy should follow the footsteps of Kerr-McGee and thus withdraw from the territory without causing more troubles and loss for yourselves".
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.
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 three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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