Saharawis in occupied Western Sahara: "Shame on you San Leon"
Saharawis in the occupied parts of Western Sahara continue to speak out against Irish/UK company San Leon Energy's plans to drill for oil in their homeland. "Stop supporting brutal occupation of Western Sahara", they say.
San Leon Energy announced a few weeks ago that it plans to drill for oil in "Morocco" this August. In reality, the drill site is located outside of Morocco's borders, around 14 kilometers north of El Aaiun, in the territory of Western Sahara that Morocco has illegally occupied since 1975. The operation is in blatant disrespect of international law, which accords the Saharawi people the right to freely determine the future status of their homeland and its resources. The Saharawis oppose San Leon's plans.
"San Leon Energy, stop supporting brutal occupation of Western Sahara", say the banners of the Association for the Monitoring of the Natural Resources and for the Environment Protection in Western Sahara. "Entrepose, no welcome", the banners read. Entrepose is the French company that has been contracted to carry out the drilling operation on behalf of San Leon.
Saharawi protests against foreign companies working for Morocco in occupied Western Sahara usually take place indoors, out of safety precautions. Without exception, Saharawi demonstrations inside the occupied territory are met with brutalities and violence by the Moroccan police and security personnel.
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.