[West-Sahara] antwoord aan Fugro

fwillems op antenna.nl fwillems op antenna.nl
Di Dec 31 16:55:55 CET 2019

Fugro is gevestigd in Leidschendam. het bedrijf doet geofysisch
onderzoek onder andere in West-Sahara. Na klachten van WSRW schreef
Fugro baas Mark Heine :
* Het werk was niet voor onderzoek naar olie maar vanwege de aanleg van
 een internet-kabel.
* Fugro heeft contact gezocht met RASD.
* Fugro stelt een ultimatum voor het aanpassen van de WSRW website op 31

Hieronder het antwoord aan Fugro:

To Mr. Mark Heine, CEO
Fugro NV
Veurse Achterweg 10
2264 SG Leidschendam
Amsterdam, 31 Dec 2019

Regarding call of m.v. Fugro Supporter in occupied Western Sahara

Dear Mr. Heine,

WSRW thanks you for your comprehensive reply of 30 December 2019 to our
two letters of 24 and 25 December relating to the seabed survey work
done by the m.v. Fugro Gauss immediately seaward of Dakhla, occupied
Western Sahara, during the last week of December 2019.

In your letter, you clarify that Fugro’s position on Western Sahara from
2010 remains unchanged, hence, that your company “has decided to abstain
from any further involvement in Western Sahara until the political
situation has been resolved".

In view of this principled decision, WSRW regrets that Fugro has now
actually taken part in infrastructure projects in Western Sahara while
the political situation remains unresolved.

You stated that “Saharawi authorities were informed in detail”. WSRW
finds it commendable that Fugro contacted these authorities.

It is not up to WSRW to evaluate in which manner this was done nor to
consider why a response may not have been provided. We observe that you
write that an answer was not obtained. Consequently, prior consent was
not given. That is the core of the matter.

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to which you
refer, Fugro would not only have to inform the authorities of the
coastal state, but would need the express approval of these

We find the other arguments brought forward regarding Fugro’s work to
survey a route for an apparent new submarine cable to come ashore in
occupied Western Sahara not to be relevant.

The fact that this project is related to infrastructure – and not
resources exploitation – does not change or reduce the right of the
Saharawi authorities to give prior consent.

Both commercial and civil communications in Western Sahara are
controlled by the occupier, neighboring country Morocco.

For the region of Dakhla, where the new submarine cable would come
ashore, a majority of the population are now Moroccan settlers, engaged
in commercial and social activities that undermine the UN’s efforts
toward self-determination of the Saharawi people. A large part of the
Saharawi people of Dakhla who fled following the occupation, currently
living in refugee camps, will not benefit from such new
telecommunications infrastructure. Saharawis active in
self-determination, regularly have their digital devices monitored,
confiscated and hacked. Leading advocates of the Saharawi socio-economic
and self-determination rights are serving lifetime sentences in jail.
These people will not benefit.

Most importantly, the argument that the Saharawi people will benefit, is
up to the Saharawi people to assess, not anyone else. In fact, the
aspect of ‘benefit’, is found by the Court of Justice of the EU
(CJEU) decision of 21 December 2016, at paragraph 106, to not be
relevant. Your opinion that other African people will benefit from the
cable sounds plausible, but again isn’t particularly relevant for
this matter.

When it comes to the publication on our website:

In the morning of 24 December, we removed the references to Fugro taking
part in oil exploration from the mentioned article. We have today
amended our article further, specifying the purpose of Fugro’s operation
offshore the occupied territory. We have highlighted that our initial
supposition (regarding oil exploration) was incorrect. The revised
article can be found here:

WSRW expects that Fugro NV will forward a copy of all data collected in
Western Sahara to the relevant Saharawi authorities, and look forward to
a reply as to whether this will be done.


Frank Willems
Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara/Western Sahara Resource Watch
nl op wsrw.org

Meer informatie over de West-Sahara maillijst