Mixing Occupation and Oil in Western Sahara

Kerr-McGee Corporation tries to drill into a powder keg


| July 28, 2005


For thirty years, Morocco has been doing its darnedest as a colonizer, subjugating Western Sahara, its neighbor to the south. And yet, not a single country nor international body presently gives Morocco credit for a legitimate occupation. Such a consensus is due primarily to the fact that the UN-arbitrated dispute between Morocco and the people of Western Sahara remains unresolved after three decades.

During this protracted diplomatic stalemate, a guerrilla war has been waged, tens of thousands of refugees have fled the country, and Morocco has managed to pin Western Sahara under its heel. And while the political community may not recognize Morocco's claim to power, some foreign companies looking to set up shop in the disputed territory do. So when the Kerr-McGee Corporation caught wind of potential crude deposits off the shores of Western Sahara, the American oil and natural gas company approached Moroccan officials for a 'Reconnaissance Permit' allowing it to explore the possibility of drilling.

Writing in CorpWatch, Jacob Mundy charges that Kerr-McGee is irresponsibly inserting 'another volatile element' into current negotiations for a lasting peace. Along with Mundy, the Norwegian government is up in arms. Ronny Hansen, spokesperson for the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, contends 'Kerr-McGee offers political legitimization to the Moroccan occupation and contributes in escalating the conflict.' The company claims its dealings have not raised the political stakes and have had only a benign effect.
-- Archie Ingersoll

Go there>>Mixing Occupation and Oil in Western Sahara



Related Links:

Comments? Story tips? Write a letter to the editor














Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265