The government of the Western Sahara Republic today sent a letter to the CEO of the Total SA, asking the company to stay away from Western Sahara. Total's licence in Western Sahara could be ending today - will they renew?
"The illegal occupation of Western Sahara is legitimized by individuals and corporations who deal with Morocco for the natural resources of the territory", stated the a letter sent from Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic/Frente Polisario to Total's Chief Executive Officer, Christophe de Margerie, today 6 December 2012.
The letter asks Total to "refrain from any such activity without the approval of [the Saharawi] government", from WSRW understands.
The letter is sent the same day as Total's licence with the Moroccan state oil company ONHYM likely will terminate. Total signed an agreement most probably on 6 December 2011, and it is probable that it is lasting for exactly 12 months, meaning until today. Total's massive block was only been revealed last week.
"The conflict over Western Sahara is prolonged, and the Saharawi people denied their economic future, by exploration and development of our natural resources", stated the letter to Mr. Margerie.
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 five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.