The Kosmos Energy platform has entered occupied waters –WSRW condemns
The oil platform ‘Atwood Achiever' late last night entered the waters of occupied Western Sahara. “Kosmos Energy is to undertake the first drilling in Western Sahara ever. It is hard to imagine a more brutally unethical oil drilling, anywhere in the world”, WSRW states.
Thirteen years after Morocco signed the first oil exploration licence in occupied Western Sahara, the first drilling is now to be undertaken. The oil platform Atwood Achiever late last night, 13 December 2014, entered the waters of the territory of Western Sahara.
International law is crystal clear: as long as the people of the territory do not want it to take place, it is illegal. Yet, Morocco has proceeded with the exploration without seeking the consent of the people of Western Sahara.
“This is a sad day for those who believe in the importance of rule of law. We call on all governments and the UN Security Council to react. Morocco needs to uphold the law as described in the Legal Opinion written by the UN Legal Counsel on behalf of the Security Council”, stated WSRW chair Erik Hagen.
“The parties should not provoke each other in a way that undermines the peace efforts. This is what Morocco is doing now. Kosmos Energy’s drilling operation will prolong the sufferings of the Saharawis, the owner of the oil”, stated Hagen.
Kosmos Energy has previously said that it will announce a possible finding of oil before April 2015 – which would be right before the UN Security Council meets to discuss the Western Sahara issue again.
Morocco occupies Western Sahara in violation of international law. No State in the world recognizes the Moroccan claims to the territory – claims which have been rejected by the International Court of Justice.
If Morocco finds oil, the income generated from the territory will exceed manifold the value of the resource plunder which has taken place in Western Sahara since the occupation began. Morocco has during the 40 years of occupation to cement the occupation, and not allowed the plunder to benefit the people of the territory.
Read more about the platform, of Kosmos Energy’s oil exploration and of the protests from the people in the territory in the WSRW report Platform for Conflict.
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.