"The occupation of Western-Sahara has continued for several decades and is in many ways one of the world's "forgotten" conflicts. Presently, it is difficult to conclude that companies can engage in oil exploration on the continental shelf off the coast of Western Sahara in a manner consistent with international law", Head of Responsible Investments for KLP Kapitalforvaltning, Jeanett Bergan stated in a press release today.
KLP thus announced that it has excluded Glencore due to the company's oil exploration off the coast of Western Sahara.
Glencore's involvement in Western Sahara received attention in Norway as it had contracted a Norwegian seismic services company to carry out mapping of the seafloor on its licence in the occupied territory. The company they had commissioned, SeaBird Exploration, later regretted its involvement. «We admit having done a mistake. It feels very uncomfortable having contributed in supporting an occupation power», SeaBird stated regarding its Glencore partnership.
The investor KLP also now reincludes the Australian company Wesfarmers in its investment universe, following a blacklisting of the latter in 2007 due to import of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. "The company has, however, developed a technological method for processing phosphate such that Wesfarmers no longer needs or purchases phosphate from Western Sahara", KLP noted.
KLP is a mutual insurance company responsible for the management of municipal and county pensions and insurance issues in Norway.
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.
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.