See also:
» 11.10.2010 - Sahrawis awake to government opposition
» 01.07.2010 - EU considers Western Sahara fisheries legal
» 17.05.2010 - PR company takes honour for Western Sahara "success"
» 13.05.2010 - Western Sahara "not part of EFTA-Morocco free trade"
» 14.04.2010 - Sahrawis fed up with UN chief
» 11.02.2010 - Morocco-Polisario revive talks
» 03.02.2010 - New talks on Western Sahara in US
» 29.01.2010 - Ease restrictions on Sahrawi - HRW

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Western Sahara | Morocco
Politics | Economy - Development

Seismic divestment offshore occupied Western Sahara

afrol News, 9 August - More companies have renounced the "ethical aspects" of their own participation in the search for oil resources offshore Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. The Dutch seismic company now follows in the footsteps of Norway's TGS-Nopec, indirectly admitting its operations in the territory were politically and ethically unwise. Harm is however already done.

Last year, the Norwegian Western Sahara Committee succeeded in putting an end to the operations of the Norwegian seismic survey company TGS-Nopec offshore Western Sahara. A successful divestment campaign, causing a significant drop in TGS-Nopec's shares on the stock market caused TGS-Nopec to announce it would not get involved in future operations in the disputed territory.

In June and July this year, European pro-Sahara activists found a new target for their "campaign against the pillage of hydrocarbons in Western Sahara." The British subsidiary of the Dutch company Fugro - Svitzer - had been carrying out a seismic survey, while the Wales-based Robertson Research International had been carrying out a study onshore occupied Western Sahara.

Both companies deliver the results of their studies to the US-based oil company Kerr-McGee, which again has been given exploration rights in Western Sahara by the Moroccan government, in cooperation with the Moroccan state oil company Onarep. As Morocco, according to the UN, is not Western Sahara's administrative power, the whole Kerr-McGee operation is highly questionable according to international law.

After pinpointing Fugro and Robertson Research in the end of June, pro-Sahara organisations from the Netherlands, UK, Norway and France on 30 July succeeded in meeting the Fugro executive in Leidschendam (Netherlands). Here, the activists presented their demand to "hand over collected data to the Polisario Front," the Western Sahara exile government.

According to new reports from the Western Sahara solidarity movement, the meeting with Fugro President Gert-Jan Kramer indeed had produced results. Mr Kramer had agreed that the ethical and political complexity of the Western Sahara conflict would be taken into consideration in the future, but that Fugro's involvement now was finished. Observers understood this as admittance that the company had not earlier properly understood this "complexity".

The Fugro top leader further said that he had now ordered all subsidiaries to consult with the main office in the Netherlands in the event of any offer for further contracts covering Western Sahara. This is seen as a strong indication that Fugro will not consider future actions in the occupied territory.

Mr Kramer nonetheless has not indicated that his company will consider handing over Svitzer's survey results to the Polisario government, as originally demanded by the activists. As was the case with TGS-Nopec last year, Kerr-McGee and Moroccan authorities have received the survey results they paid for. The companies only excused their ethically unwise action after damage was done and payments secured.

Liesbeth den Haan, President of the Dutch Foundation for Self-determination in Western Sahara, nevertheless said she was pleased with the outcome of the meeting with Mr Kramer, appreciating the company's "readiness for initiating a constructive and open dialogue."

- We are satisfied by Fugro's assurances to the Coalition that the company will carefully consider the political and ethical aspects of possible future involvement in the area, in the light of the arguments presented during the meeting, added Ms den Haan.

Also the leader of the Norwegian Western Sahara Committee, Erik Hagen, is partly satisfied with the results of this second action against an oil exploration company headed by the Committee. He recently told afrol News similar actions are planned against other companies exploiting the natural resources of the occupied territory, particularly the rich fisheries and possible oil and gas.

According to other sources with the Western Sahara solidarity movement, plans to target the great player offshore Western Sahara, Texas-based Kerr-McGee, are however yet to materialise. Kerr-McGee by scale is a much bigger company than those targeted so far and the solidarity movement is still weak in the US.

There are however strong signals from the US government that US investments in the occupied territory are increasingly unwanted. Regarding the recent signing of a free trade agreement between the US and Morocco, the US Trade Representative two weeks ago affirmed that the agreement would only "cover trade and investment in he territory of Morocco as recognised internationally, and will not include Western Sahara."

NOTE: This article has been updated/corrected on 12 August.

- Create an e-mail alert for Western Sahara news
- Create an e-mail alert for Morocco news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Economy - Development news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at