At the Spanish government owned harbour of Las Palmas today, Geo Service 1 is bunkering supplies for the illegal Moroccan oil studies offshore occupied Western Sahara. The studies take place not too far away from Spanish waters.
Today the vessel Geo Service 1 went into Las Palmas habour to bunker food supplies for the oil exploration that is going on outside occupied Western Sahara. On 19 June, the vessel will return to the Saharawi waters, where the last seismic studies are taking place before oil drilling will commence around October. The studies could take only a few weeks more.
WSRW wrote on 30 May that Kosmos Energy is undertaking the final stages of controversial seismic offshore the territory that Morocco is occupying. The UN has stated that any further oil exploration in Western Sahara would be in violation of international law, as long as its people object.
The vessel is docked at the Puertos de Las Palmas, belonging to La Autoridad Portuaria de Las Palmas, which in turn is one of the 28 harbour administrations part of the entity Puertos del Estado, owned by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport (Spanish: Ministerio de Fomento). There is an increasing concern in Spain over Morocco's oil plans in its own, Morooccan waters, adjacent to Spanish EEZ. Yet, Morocco is also exploring the waters of occupied Western Sahara, and for those activities, the Spanish government harbour in Las Palmas is used as a base for the exploration activities.
Onboard the Geo Service 1 is seen a tiny shuttle boat carrying the name of BGP Prospector - the name of the seismic vessel.
Saharawis in Western Sahara are increasingly protesting Kosmos - to great personal risk. On 13 June one man was cut with a razor blade by a Moroccan policeman for carring a banner against Kosmos. On 15 April, 18 year old Elfayda was beaten up by police for trying to film her friends carrying a similar banner. Morocco prohibits all Saharawi organisations or political parties that raise the right to self-determination over their land or resources, as the UN is clear that they have.
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.