Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, A discussion on the latest in Western Sahara, including growing frustrations among young Sahrawi, the roles of France and the US and continuing stalemate. The Global African, 17 December 2015.
Click play and Zunes interview will start automatically [at “17:30]
Control of environmental Resources (Legal recourses appeal to human rights)
Total will halt preliminary offshore oil survey work in disputed Western Sahara, unfortunately it was not due to the illegality of the exploration work under a UN edict, but because its seismic data analysis was disappointing.
“The results of the geological surveys conducted in the Anzarane block were not encouraging and the reconnaissance authorization will not be transformed into an exploration license,” a Total spokesman said according to an iAfrica report.
Total was contracted to conduct geological survey in a vast block off Western Sahara in December 2011, and the agreement was later extended to December 2015. The company has now informed the Moroccan authorities that it will not seek further extension.
However the decision comes less than two weeks after a farm trade deal between the European Union and Morocco was annulled by the EU’s top court because it illegally involved the disputed region of Western Sahara.
It also comes as oil companies are slashing investment as oil prices slide to 11-year lows, making many offshore projects no longer financially attractive.
|Total has left occupied Western Sahara, Published: 21 December 2015|
The French multinational oil company has announced that it is no longer pursuing oil search offshore Western Sahara. “More good news for the Saharawi people. We urge the remaining oil companies to follow suit”, stated WSRW.
|“Total has informed the Moroccan authorities that it would not request a new extension of its reconnaissance authorisation in the Anzarane block,” a source told AFP today. “The first analysis of seismic data didn’t find anything,” added the source.|
Political Prisoners (Repression: imprisonment, resistance)
El Aaiun(occupied territories of Western Sahara), December 30, 2015 (SPS) The journalist and Saharawi political prisoner, Mohamed Banbari, transferred from the black prison in El Aaiun, the occupied capital of Western Sahara by Morocco, to the hospital after fainting and vomiting after 13 days of hunger strike.
Leadership and organization
The 14 Polisario Congress
14th Polisario Congress: Reinforcement of security in liberated Sahrawi territories dominates works of commissions
20 December 2015, The Congress “whose majority is made of young activists representing 52% of the participants at the congress underlined the need to strengthen the army’s capacities for a possible return to armed action to enforce the Sahrawi people’s legitimate rights to self-determination.”