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Western Sahara

A British engineering firm is carrying out illegal work inside occupied Western Sahara.

Windhoist, based in Irvine, Scotland, has previously installed over 150 wind turbines just north of Western Sahara, inside Morocco.

On 17 November, Windhoist posted a photo of the first turbine tower it was installing at the Aftissat Wind Farm south of Boujdour ‘in the Western Sahara’.

The plan is to install 56 Siemens wind turbines, to be fully operational by the end of 2018, generating over 200MW of wind energy to supply Moroccan industrial groups.

The problem is that Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975. Under international law, as confirmed by the EU court of justice and the UN human rights council, the consent of the Sahrawi people is needed for the use of Sahrawi resources.

In February, Western Sahara Resource Watch asked Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser (at the Siemens AGM) if the company had sought the consent of the Sahrawi people. He refused to answer.

According to Western Sahara Resource Watch, three of the Aftissat wind farm’s future clients have disputed operations in Western Sahara: a phosphate company OCP and two construction materials suppliers LafargeHolcim Maroc and Ciments du Maroc.