Letter to Fugro NV, 2006
Sent 1 June 2006. The letter was sent to CEO K. Wester, with copy to A.Jonkman.
Published: 12.02 - 2009 18:11Printer version    
To the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fugro N.V.,
Mr. K.S. Wester

Rotterdam, 1 June 2006

Dear mister Wester,

With your predecessor mr. Kramer and with mr. Jonkman, our organization had a meeting on 30th of July 2004, regarding Fugro’s activities in Moroccan occupied Western Sahara. This meeting was interesting and productive. However, some of our questions were not answered.

We had questions regarding Fugro Airborne Surveys’ mapping of the Dakhla region on behalf of the Moroccan Bureau de Recherches et Participations Minières and the Moroccan Ministry of Interior. Mr. Kramer explained that he had not heard of these activities, but that this needed to be checked. Since then, we did not receive any information. Therefore, I would appreciate if you could clarify the following points:
-How many times, when and in which areas has Fugro Airborne Surveys explored the geology of Western Sahara?
-What has been the exact mission of Fugro Airborne Surveys’ activities in Western Sahara?
-What kinds of minerals have been explored?
-Has Fugro also been involved in the processing and interpretation of these data?
-Did the exploration show any commercially exploitable mineral resources? If yes, what did these findings consist of?
-Were any legal considerations done when agreeing to make such a study?

As you may know, Fugro NV sent us a letter after the meeting, in which the promise was made that Fugro would not consider undertaking any new activities in occupied Western Sahara without consulting our organization on the situation prevailing in the territory. We would like you to know that the situation in the territory, despite the fact that a part of the political prisoners since March of this year have been released, is still extremely serious. Not only did the referendum on self-determination still not take place, the Sahrawi population is living in terror, is being intimidated, persecuted and deprived from all its rights by the Moroccan occupying forces. Please find at the bottom of the message the above mentioned letter of the political prisoners, in which Fugro was mentioned.

We would like to receive confirmation that Fugro nor any of its subsidiaries currently are undertaking or planning to undertake any further activities in the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

Furthermore, we would like to inform you that Kerr-McGee, for whom Fugro collected data in the waters of Western Sahara, has not extended its exploration contracts with Morocco. Not only the pressure from Western Sahara Resource Watch, in which our organization participates, but also the official protests of the Sahrawi authrorities and the appeal made by a group of Sahrawi political prisoners, have certainly influenced on that decision. For your information, please find attached the press release of the coalition Western Sahara Resource Watch and, a letter of the political prisoners.You could do a great service to the people of Western Sahara, as the only legitimate owner of the natural resources of Western Sahara, if you urge mr Corbett, the ceo of Kerr-McGee, to hand over the data to the Sahrawi authorities or to the United Nations.

Yours truly,

Mrs. E. den Haan,
Netherlands Foundation for Self-Determination in Western Sahara, president

Participant in Western Sahara Resource Watch, an international coalition for the protection of the natural resources of Western Sahara

And here is the answer from Fugro, 6 June 2006.

See also correspondence between the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara and Fugro 26-30 August 2004.




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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