Irish MEP, Kathy Sinnott, demands that Island Oil and Gas immediately stops their activities in occupied Western Sahara. "The presence of your company undermines the illegitimacy of the Moroccan occupation.", she writes in a letter to the company's CEO, Paul Griffiths.
Read the letter from Kathy Sinnott to Paul Griffiths here:
European Parliament BD4 03M081 60, Rue Wiertz B-1047 Brussels, Belgium
May 5th, 2008
Mr. Paul Griffiths, CEO Island Oil and Gas 27 Lower Mount St., Dublin 2
Dear Paul Griffiths,
I would like to express my concern regarding the location of your company, namely in the Western Sahara which is an area occupied illegally by Morocco disregarding the human rights of the Saharawi people. The activities of your company are illegal on this territory since they are conducted in disregard for the needs and interests of the people of that territory. "Any administering Power that deprives the colonial peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories of the exercise of their legitimate rights over their natural resources violates the solemn obligations it has assumed under the Charter of the United Nations". The General Assembly has consistently condemned the exploitation and plundering of natural resources and any economic activities which are detrimental to the interests of the peoples of those Territories and deprive them of their legitimate rights over their natural resources.
Morocco is an illegal occupier of Western Sahara according to international law. It has no legal right to sell the resources of the Saharawi people. This has been established by The International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1975, numerous resolutions of The United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly. The occupation of Western Sahara has resulted in enormous suffering and deprivation of the Saharawi people, the rightful owners of the land and the natural resources of Western Sahara. Approximately 165.000 Saharawis are languishing in refugee camps in the inhospitable Algerian desert since 1975. The Saharawi population remaining in areas under Moroccan occupation is subjected to grave human rights violations, such as torture, forced disappearances and arbitrary detention.
I would like you to consider immediately suspending your company’s operations in these territories as a number of the most serious oil companies already have in 2006. The presence of your company undermines the illegitimacy of the Moroccan occupation.
____________________________ Kathy Sinnott, MEP Ireland South
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.
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