Human rights group's, the green's etc; etc; are just professional political protesters. They rarely have anyone who comes from the area where they are protesting. The majority of the protesters are weirdo's and for their leaders I imagine every minor success is seen as furthering their own political strength rather than achieving anything for the people in the area of their latest protest........Considering that the supposed dispute in the western sahara has been going on for about 40 years, you might think it won't be solved anytime soon...For anyone to attempt to stop SLE in their current project would be like saying I have to walk 9 miles every day for fresh water but were not letting the plumber in until this dispute is solved.
Human rights groups are threatening moves to block Irish oil exploration company San Leon Energy's plan to drill in the disputed Western Sahara region, which has been under Moroccan control since 1979.
Dublin headquartered San Leon Energy is facing a potential legal challenge over its proposed drilling activity in the disputed North African territory, which Morocco describes as its Southern Provinces.
Human rights group opposed to the drilling say oil exploration should be suspended while the future of Western Sahara is in dispute.
The Irish Government has previously called for a referendum to decide the future of Western Sahara.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said: "Under international law, the economic resources of a non-self governing territory may only be exploited for the benefit of the people of the territory, on their behalf or in consultation with their representatives.
"Any exploration and exploitation activities that proceed in disregard of the interests of the people of Western Sahara would be in violation of the principles of international law."
, in a statement to the Irish Independent, San Leon's executive chairman Oisin Fanning said its activities are legally sound.
"San Leon's operations are in keeping with our obligations under international law and work for the betterment of all persons in the Southern Provinces of Morocco.
"Our operations in the Southern Provinces are in line with fundamental ethical norms, and actions to inhibit them are not merely incorrect but work counter to the interests of the local population and against the final resolution of conflict," he said.
"The well we are now seeking to drill will ultimately determine if there are commercial quantities of hydrocarbon resources in the area.
"To object to our operations here, as some do, on the basis that they may further the interests of the government of Morocco is tantamount to objecting to the building of roads because tanks may drive on them - so may school buses, and goods vehicles, and ambulances," he said.
This month San Leon signed a rig contract with French company Entrepose Drilling for drilling at the 'El Aaiun-4 well' in Western Sahara. Work is due to begin in August.
Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a human rights non-governmental organisation run by Irish lawyers say they will take a legal action against the London AIM-listed company over the plan.
Ruairí McDermott of GLAN told the Irish Independent: "We intend to bring a complaint against San Leon Energy before the Irish National Contact Point of the OECD as soon as possible.
"The right of a people to choose how or even whether to use their natural resources is one of the cornerstones of international human rights law."
A distinction [is] made between economic activities that are detrimental to the peoples of those territories, and those directed to benefit them. It [is] recognized that there [is] a value in foreign economic investment undertaken in collaboration with the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and in accordance with their wishes, in order to make a valid contribution to the socio-economic development of the territories. H Corell, The Legality of Exploring and Exploiting Natural Resources in Western Sahara, Western Sahara Conference Proceeding s(2008)
Our activities to date have consisted of engaging in seismic campaigns and processing the raw data – a series of activities that are merely the accumulation of scientific and geological information that causes no irreversible harm. The well we are now seeking to drill will ultimately determine if there are commercial quantities of hydrocarbon resources in the area, which could have great potential value to the local community. To object to our operations here, as some do, on the basis that they may further the interests of the government of Morocco is tantamount to objecting to the building of roads because tanks may drive on them – so may school buses, and goods vehicles, and ambulances.
Over the past ten years in the Southern Provinces, there has been a significant change in the circumstances of the local people, and progress towards a political solution. In the Kerr McGee Recommendation in 2005, the Council on Ethics stated that there were over 165,000 Suhrawi people living in refugee camps in Algeria. By comparison, The UNHR’s estimates for refugees in these camps in 2011 are almost half that amount, Joint Needs Assessment of Sahrawi Refugees in Algeria, 4 to 14 October 2011, UNHCR. Since the Moroccan government proposal in 2007 for autonomy in this region, the overwhelming evidence is that many people living in the camps are returning to the Southern Provinces. As previously noted, the Moroccan government has engaged in expenditure to benefit the people of the area. In order to attract international oil and gas companies, the Moroccan government acknowledges that it must create a secure environment and must acknowledge the wishes and interests of the local people. Thus, the local population has already benefited from the exploration activities of San Leon Energy.
For all of the reasons above, San Leon Energy asserts that the Company’s activities in this region are not merely ethical, but work to the benefit of the local people; whereas, impairing San Leon Energy’s activities would simply work to perpetuate conflict.
a.Representatives of the Local Population – Some observers draw a distinction between those elements of the local population that are Suhrawis and those that are of other origin. The legal opinion of Hans Correll does not draw any such distinction. The concern is to determine who are the representatives of the entire local population – including both Suhrawi and non-Suhrawis. The region votes as a part of the Moroccan Southern provinces and has one of the highest voting turnouts in Morocco. Elections are held for seats contested by both Suharawis and non-Suharawis, and both Suharawis and non Suharawis vote in these polls. These elections are monitored by international observers and are considered free and fair. It is these elected officials that San Leon consults when determining the wishes and interests of the local people.
Many activist organizations agitating on the issue are supporters of the Polisario - a paramilitary organization with links to known terrorist groups. In the past two years over 45 countries have frozen, suspended or withdrawn their recognition of the Polisario-backed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The Polisario cannot be considered the legitimate representative of the local people and for that reason San Leon Energy does not engage in dialogue with this organization.
b.The Wishes and Interests of the Local People – San Leon’s dialogues with local representatives reveals that the wishes of the local people are for improved public infrastructure, improved security, and economic opportunity. The Moroccan government has made significant efforts over the past years to improve the lives of these local communities. Over one billion dollars a year is spent in this region by the government of Morocco – significantly more than the government of Morocco derives in income from the region.
All of this expenditure has been committed before there has been any revenue derived from oil and gas activities at all. It is the desire and the intention of the local people, the government of Morocco and San Leon Energy that any income derived from natural resources extraction in the future benefit the local community and be in accord with their wishes. The government of Morocco has engaged over a period of years in substantial infrastructure improvement – building schools, roads and hospitals. The continuing activities of San Leon Energy to discover hydrocarbon resources in the area will create greater wealth for the local community in the furtherance of their wishes and interests.
Benefit to the Local Population
Not all resource-related activities in such territories constitutes “exploitation and plundering”. Hans Correll has stated that:
A distinction [is] made between economic activities that are detrimental to the peoples of those territories, and those directed to benefit them. It [is] recognized that there [is] a value in foreign economic investm
Are also obliged to drill the well or lose the license and really pee off the Moroccans.
Irish Independent Newspaper
9 July 2015
RE: San Leon’s Operations In The Southern Provinces of Morocco
I understand that you have received criticism relating to the San Leon operations in the Southern provinces of Morocco to the effect that ‘San Leon needs to take into account the wishes of the people of Western Sahara and start respecting international law’ and that ‘San Leon fundamentally undermines the UN peace process in the territory.' I am afraid I must disagree. As is set forth herein, San Leon’s operations are in keeping with our obligations under international law and work for the betterment of all persons in the Southern Provinces of Morocco.
Located in Northwest Africa, the Moroccan Southern provinces were a Spanish protectorate from 1884-1976. In 1963, the United Nations designated it a Non-Self-Governing Territory, with Spain as the administering power. In 1973, the Frente Polisario was established and launched a resistance campaign against Spain. In November 1975, Spain agreed with Morocco and Mauritania to assume administrative control of the territory. Conflict between the Frente Polisario (supported by Algeria) and Morocco and French-backed Mauritania began in 1975. When Mauritania withdrew in 1979, Morocco assumed the administration of that additional territory, and now administers around 90% of the region. The U.N. brokered a ceasefire between Morocco and Frente Polisario in 1991. Since that time the Moroccan government has been engaged in a dialogue with the United Nations centering around Morocco’s historic, traditional, and pre-colonial presence in the region.
Our operations in the Southern Provinces are in line with fundamental ethical norms, and actions to inhibit them are not merely incorrect but work counter to the interests of the local population and against the final resolution of conflict. The standard to be met in determining whether San Leon’s activities are ethical is Article 73 of the United Nations charter that makes it clear that the interests of the local population are paramount. Hans Correll’s 2002 legal opinion to the UN Secretary General states: “exploitation of natural resources may be acceptable if it is carried out in accordance with the wishes and interests of the local population.” This consideration raises two subsidiary matters for analysis: a) who are the legitimate representatives of the local population; and b) are their wishes and interests being fulfilled?
a.Representatives of the Local Population – Some observers draw a distinction between those elements of the local population that are Suhrawis and those that are of other origin. The legal opinion of Hans Correll does not draw any such distinction. The concern is to determ
" If hydrocarbons are discovered and produced, the equitable and transparent sharing and use of public revenues derived from such production will be an important element in ensuring that the people of the territory benefit from such activities"
In this regard, the report calls for natural resources development in Western Sahara to be conducted sustainably and for the preponderance of public revenues from such development to be used to benefit the local population fairly, equitably and transparently, and in consultation with them and their representatives. The CESE has also driven a robust and candid discussion around the important issue of human rights in Western Sahara. While Morocco has made progress in this area, the CESE focuses on the significant work still to be done by all levels of government to better protect and promote human rights in the territory. We are keenly interested in the human rights situation in Western Sahara and will continue to carefully evaluate the potential impact of our activities on it, consistent with our own corporate human rights commitments.
The Non-Self-Governing Territory of Western Sahara NSGT Western Sahara Western Sahara has been on the United Nations' list of non-self-governing territories (NSGT) since 1963 (currently, 16 other areas are listed as NSGTs). In November 1975, Spain withdrew from the Western Sahara (its former colony). In 1976, Morocco and Mauritania became the de facto Administering Powers over the territory. Mauritania withdrew in 1979, leaving Morocco in possession of over 80% of the territory. Morocco considers the area an integral part of its sovereign territory. The United Nations is mediating resolution of the territory's political status between the government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, with Algeria and Mauritania also attending the negotiations.
The Kingdom of Morocco seeks to have its sovereignty acknowledged and has proposed that the territory enjoy autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. The Moroccan Autonomy Initiative, proposed in 2007 in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions, has been recognized by the United States government over the years as "serious, realistic and credible
And the" De Facto"
As the de facto administering power of Western Sahara, Morocco has an important role to play in the oversight of responsible resource development. If hydrocarbons are discovered and produced, the equitable and transparent sharing and use of public revenues derived from such production will be an important element in ensuring that the people of the territory benefit from such activities. In late 2012, the King of Morocco directed the independent constitutional body, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) to create a platform for the analysis and formulation of proposals for a new development model for the territory. The CESE undertook extensive consultations in Western Sahara about governance issues and development needs with diverse stakeholders (including civil society, local officials, the private sector and political groups and representatives). In November 2013, the CESE issued its final, detailed report on a new, participatory and inclusive development model in Western Sahara, with effective governance and respect for human rights, titled “New Development Model for the Kingdom’s Southern Provinces.” The report makes clear that this New Model’s foundation is “…the respect for and promotion of basic human rights in the broadest sense, including economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. Through the development of guidelines for an integrated, sustainable development project based on the genuine participation of citizens in the management of their own local affairs, the aim of the Council is to contribute to the collective effort required to rise to the challenge of achieving social cohesion, prosperity and equitable benefit from the resources of…” the territory. In this rega
Would be prudent, to have somebody with even half a clue running this company. The Eegit 'Big Zero', is stirring up a conflict that has been dormant for decades. The guys an utter crackpot - if there was ever a board that needed a mack the knife - this must be it - which big boy do they have that can stand up to an ex-Pembroke Inn pint puller?
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