Controversy Kosmos to open supply base in Las Palmas?
The controversial company Kosmos Energy, which is intending to drill in occupied Western Sahara on a licence granted by the occupying power of Morocco, might open a supply base in Las Palmas. First results of the illegal drilling to be announced within next 6 months.
Photo: Las Palmas has also previously been used as a supply base for Kosmos Energy's operations in Western Sahara. Here is the seismic survey vessel they used in Western Sahara, 2014. The photo is taken at Las Palmas port.
End of April 2015, the UN Security Council will again discuss the issue of Western Sahara. By then, the conflict might be even harder to resolve.
According to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), the CEO of Kosmos, Brian Maxted, stated in a conference call 3 November 2014 that the results of the exploratory well on the so-called 'Cap Boujdour Offshore' block will be announced during the first quarter of 2015, meaning before the Security Council gets together.
The Cap Boujdour Offshore block is located in occupied Western Sahara. No state in the world, nor the UN, recognise the Moroccan claims to the land that it invaded in 1975. Yet, Kosmos signed the deal with Morocco, while the people of the territory condemn the company's operations. The UN has stated that no such operation can take place if the people do not consent to it.
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo last week-end commented that Kosmos will most likely open two supply bases to manage the upcoming drilling operation: one in Dakhla in the occupied territory - and another in Las Palmas, Canary Islands. According to the newspaper, the company is said to register in what is known as the Canary Islands Special Zone, where the taxes imposed are close to zero. The supplies will be served through helicopter shuttle.
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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