Morocco has renewed French petrol company Total’s licence to prospect for oil off the coast of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory following Spain’s withdrawal in 1975. A UN-brokered ceasefire was reached between Morocco and the Polisario Front, on the condition that a referendum about self-determination be held. No referendum has been held to this day, and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination say that Morocco is strengthening its control over the region by granting oil contracts. The Polisario Front considers the licences granted to French Total and American Kosmos to prospect for oil illegal. Continue reading
In its struggle for self-determination and independence from Morocco, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Western Sahara is finding support from Latin American countries, who see their shared history of European colonialism as reason to mobilize for the Saharawi people and their cause.