Conflict solar plan through Western Sahara is shaking

The controversial 'Desertec' solar energy project, which was planned to cross the occupied territory of Western Sahara, might not be carried out due to lack of funds.
Published: 19.11 - 2012 20:21Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch has previously written about the controversial energy project that European energy interests planned to locate through occupied Western Sahara in partnership with the Moroccan government.

Morocco has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975.

According to BBC today, the plans to continue with the Desertec programme might be placed on ice due to lack of funds.

The new development is due to the withdrawal of the two large industrial partners, Siemens and Bosch, from the project.

"If this project ends up being stopped, it is good news for the people of Western Sahara. Even though investments in green energy is highly needed internationally, no energy project should of course be placed in a territory occupied by force. Connecting the territory to the European energy grid in partnership with Moroccan government, would further contribute to uphold the status quo of the conflict", stated Erik Hagen, chair of WSRW.

Siemens is the same company that has also received criticism for planning to do a wind energy project in the occupied territory in partnership with a company of the King of Morocco. That project was prevented from receiving UN funding due to its location in the occupeid territory.

The UN treats Western Sahara as the last unresolved colonial dispute on the African continent. The UN special envoy to the conflict, Christopher Ross, warned last week the international community against accepting the status quo in the 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.
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