Cairn Energy places occupied Western Sahara in Morocco

Cairn Energy launched today its annual report showing total failure to understand the background of the occupied territory in which it holds interest. Former UN Legal Counsel has already slammed the operation they carry out to be in violation of international law.
Published: 27.03 - 2015 23:22Printer version    
"A third well in Morocco, offshore Western Sahara, the non-operated Cap Boujdour well, commenced drilling in December 2014", stated Cairn Energy in its annual report published today, 27 March 2014.

However, no states in the world recognise the territory as part of Morocco. A UN legal opinion has stated that any further oil exploration in Western Sahara would be in violation of international law unless it takes place in accordance with the wishes of the people of the territory.

"Cairn's partnership with Kosmos has from the very beginning showed a total disregard of law and ethics. Signing deals with the Moroccan government for oil exploration in the territory that it occupies is obviously undermining the UN peace process", said Erik Hagen, chair of Western Sahara Resource Watch.

"Its numerous clumsy references to Western Sahara in the annual report shows how shallow its talks of responsability really is. A first step in understanding the international law in Western Sahara would be to actually place the territory on the map", stated Hagen.

In February, the former UN Legal Consel stated that Kosmos Energy's operation in the territory violates international law, by reviewing the contract that Kosmos has signed with Morocco.

Kosmos has been in process with Moroccan officials and Morocco-loyal associations to "prove" that locals wish their programme welcome. Any other association is banned in Western Sahara by Moroccan government, and the secretary-general of the natural resource network, among many, is serving a lifetime in a Moroccan military jail.

Read more about Kosmos Energy's and Cairn Energy's operations in the WSRW report A Platform for Conflict.

Over 100 UN resolutions call for the right to self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, but Morocco refuses to cooperate to arrange the referendum the UN set ou to carry out. The International Court of Justice has deemed Morocco's claims to the territory baseless, and urged the right to self-determination be applied.




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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