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Western Sahara

Western Sahara is part of Morocco. That’s what Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy said in its latest annual report, released on 27 March. Cairn was recently involved in drilling a test well in the Boujdour oilfield, which it describes in its report as a ‘well in Morocco, offshore Western Sahara’.

In fact, Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975, and the oil exploration Cairn is involved in is criminal.

That’s the view of the UN legal expert who drew up the authoritative opinion on this question for the UN security council in February 2002.

Hans Corell noted in February 2015 that the oil companies exploring off Western Sahara claim their work is ‘in conformity with my 2002 legal opinion’: ‘Regrettably, it is not.’

On 23 April, the issue of ‘conflict tomatoes’ (grown in Western Sahara but labelled in British supermarkets as ‘from Morocco’) will be raised in court as the Western Sahara Campaign seeks a judicial review of tax breaks assigned by the authorities.

Topics: Western Sahara