Just last week, Kosmos Energy set up base in Boujdour, occupied Western Sahara. The company will commence its last series of exploration in April to determine where it will start to drill. A drillship - currently being built in South Korea - has been chartered from Atwood Oceanics, and is expected to arrive in occupied Western Sahara September/October this year.
But not everyone agrees to Kosmos' plans.
The people of Western Sahara, the Saharawis, are increasingly speaking out against the company's intentions. The Saharawis' right to self-determination - the right to determine the future status of their territory and its resources - is internationally acknowleged and backed up by hundreds of UN Resolutions.
A UN Legal Opinion on exploration and exploitation of Western Sahara's natural resources states that unless the Saharawis' wishes and interests are respected, any further exploration would be in violation of international law.
The Saharawis are clear: they don't want Kosmos in their occupied homeland.
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.
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.