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Western Sahara

Things may be about to heat up over Western Sahara, illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. Later this year, a drillship will begin to search for oil off Western Sahara’s coast under a licence granted by Morocco to Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy and others.

According to a UN legal ruling in 2002, it is illegal to exploit Sahrawi resources ‘in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara’.

Morocco refuses to negotiate with the government of Western Sahara, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and ‘does not allow the Sahrawi to organise themselves politically’, as the author of the UN legal ruling, Hans Corell, told the Financial Times, making the oil drilling illegal.

Topics: Western Sahara