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Saharawi Petroleum and Mining Authority draws the attention of foreign companies to the nature of the legal status of Western Sahara

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Chahid El Hafed (Saharawi Republic) 28 April 2022 (SPS)- The Saharawi Petroleum and Mining Authority took note of the Worley Company's acquisition of a contract to provide engineering design services for the Nigerian-Moroccan gas pipeline project, which is planned to pass through the territorial waters of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
Despite the fact that this controversial project is still under study, and despite the magnitude of the risks that threaten its implementation, as previously indicated by the major international insurance companies, as well as its high cost and looming doubts about its future, the Moroccan occupation sought to request funding from the Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Bank for the first studies of the project, and bringing foreign companies to carry out the preliminary studies for the project, the Saharawi Petroleum and Mining Authority would like to warn Worley and the foreign companies that the Moroccan occupation is trying to implicate in this project, to the following facts:
- Western Sahara, whose lands and territorial waters are included in this project, is a country still awaiting decolonization, and Morocco cannot include it in any agreement with another party because Morocco does not possess sovereignty over Western Sahara as clearly affirmed by the International Court of Justice in October 1975, the African Union Legal Opinion of June 2015, the High Court of South Africa in February 2018, and the European Court of Justice in December 2015, February 2018, and September 2021.
- Western Sahara became a war zone since November 13, 2021 between the Moroccan forces of occupation and the Liberation Army of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, both countries are members of the African Union.
- The implication in any economic or investment activities in Western Sahara without the consent of the Saharawi people through its unique and legitimate representative, Polisario Front, is an open participation in acts amounting to war crimes that may expose those who participate in them to legal accountability.
- The independent and sovereign Saharawi Republic will welcome such a project only when it completes its sovereignty over its occupied lands and considers that the implementation of such projects under Moroccan occupation is condemned by the texts of international law and a violation of the rights of peoples to sovereignty over their natural resources, as it is an immoral and illegal act, as well because it contributes to raising the levels of tension and instability in the region.
Accordingly, the Saharawi Petroleum and Mining Authority calls on Worley Company and other foreign companies related to the Moroccan-Nigerian gas project to abandon their activities and investments in the conflict zone and informs the African Union of the dangers of such activities taking place in the territories of its member states and calls on the AU relevant decision making bodies to assume their responsibilities in defense of the sovereignty and wealth of its member states in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the AU and other relevant legal mechanisms. (SPS)
090/500/60 (SPS)