For the care of Mr G-J. Kramer,
& Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 41
2260 AA LEIDSCHENDAM
Rotterdam, 30 June 2004
Referring to your letters of 11 and 25 June 2004 and considering the poor answer from you to the contents of our letter of 7 June 2004, we decided to publicly denounce from today on the complicity of Fugro N.V., Robertson Research International and Fugro SL Limited (Svitzer) in the illegal occupation of Western Sahara and in the plundering of the hydrocarbons of Western Sahara by its occupier.
We have recently been made aware that your seismic surveys offshore Western Sahara is to terminate within the month of June. The silence from Fugro and its subsidiaries we must therefore interpret as a deliberate strategy from your company to try to stall for time until the unethical activities would have been completed.
We are disillusioned about the lack of transparency that your company claims to abide with. Indeed, the letter sent to Fugro Geoteam by the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara on 27 May 2003 &endash; informing you about the negative aspects of any survey activities in Western Sahara &endash; was never answered to, and the activities were carried out.
Despite our efforts to have information on the Svitzer involvement, we did not get any substantial answer or explanation, but were only referred to the main office of Fugro.
We have also been in contact with Robertson Research International in Wales. Despite that Robertson states to "openly report our performance, either good or bad", they refuse to communicate the contents of their activities in the Western Sahara. Though, on the website pages of Robertson is mentioned that the company is since 2003 carrying out some sort of a study on Western Sahara and other countries in the region.
Any involvement of Robertson and Svitzer is contrary to the policy stated by Department of Trade and Industry (UK) in the issue. In his letter of 2002, the minister for Relations with North Africa wrote: "On the issue of the exploitation of mineral and fishing resources of Western Sahara, the UK notes the undetermined status of the territory. We recognise the realities of the situation in the territory itself. Therefore, we advise UK companies wishing to operate in Western Sahara to seek the advice and agreement of both parties to the dispute in their business planning." And the Dutch foreign policy is that no sovereignty of Morocco is recognised over Western Sahara &endash; in line with international law.
The referral to the non-existence of a UN embargo is irrelevant and does not change the validity of the legal, ethical and political arguments we put forward in our letter of 7 June 2004. Those arguments are also evoked by the Sahrawi state, by letter from its minister for Foreign Affairs, who has explicitly condemned your involvement in the hydrocarbons exploration.
We urgently demand a meeting to be held with Fugro N.V. in The Netherlands, at real short notice, meaning this week or next week. In the meeting, we would like to be informed about the ethical, political and legal considerations taken by Fugro and by each of its subsidiaries in this affair, and about the activities that were or are being carried out in Western Sahara.
We also request an explanation of what kind of activities were carried out by Fugro in the occupied territories of Western Sahara from June to September 2002, on behalf of the seismic company TGS-Nopec.
At the meeting, we would like to formally present to you our demand that all current survey activities be stopped, in future no explorative or related activities be carried out and that the data sets collected by Fugro to this date be handed over to the Polisario Front.
Finally we urge you to initiate a dialogue with the Polisario Front as the sole and legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people.
We will contact you within a few days.
A copy of this letter is sent to:
- Robertson Research International
- Fugro LS Limited 'Svitzer'
- the International Press"
Netherlands Foundation for Self-determination in Western Sahara, president
00-31-10-2141191 / 06-10858899
On behalf of the international coalition for the protection of the natural resources in Western Sahara:
Western Sahara Campaign - UK, coordinator
Western Sahara Campaign - Cymru (Wales), secretary
Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara, president
Pierre Galand, Sénateur (Belgium)
Comité belge de Soutien au Peuple Sahraoui, president
Coordination européenne de Soutien au Peuple Sahraoui, president
Association de soutien à un référendum libre et régulier au Sahara occidental (Suisse)
José Manuel Taboada Valdés
La Coordinadora Estatal de Asociaciones de Amistad y Solidaridad con el Pueblo Saharaui de España (CEAS-SAHARA), president
L'Association des Amis de la R.A.S.D. (Paris), member of the Council
António Baptista da Silva
Associação de Cooperação e Amizade com o Povo Saharaui (Lisbon), coordinator
Maria Augusta Ribeiro
Grupo de Braga pelo Saara Ocidental (Braga, Portugal), coordinator
Francisco Matias Garcia Garcia
Asociación de Amigos del Pueblo Sahraui de Molina de Segura, president
Asociación de Amigas y Amigos de la R.A.S.D.-S.E.A.D.en Lagunen Elkartea (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain)
Comité Suisse de soutien au peuple Sahraoui, president
L'associazione El Ouali (Bologna)
Bahia M.H. Awah
Radio Guiniguada 105,9 FM Canarias, journalist
Asociación de amigos del Pueblo Saharaui de Albacete (Spain)
Asociacion de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui AMAL of Santurtzi (Bizkaia, Spain)
Rafael Zulaika Ruiz
Asociación de Amigas/os de la RASD - Gipuzkoa en Donostia (San Sebastián, Spain), member of the permanent committee
Asociación Navarra Amigos del Sahara, spokeswoman
Miguel Ardid Gumiel
Colectivo de poesia salvaje and Colectivo de Barrio del Carmen Valencia)
Asociación Navarra de Amigos y Amigas de la RASD (ANARASD)
Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA), secretary
Medico International e.V. (Frankfurt), project Coordinator for Western Sahara
P. Pinto Leite,
International Platform of Jurists for East Timor (Leiden), secretary
Dutch section of International Association of Jurists for Western Sahara, coordinator
Carlos Ruiz Miguel,
Editor of Sahara Info (Spain)
Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Santiago de Compostela
Asociación "Pinto con el Sahara" (Spain)
Sahara Press Service (Tindouf), editor english pages
Jose Luis Irigoien
Amaia Elgezabal Rementeria
Diego M. Vera Arroyo
Paloma Ruiz León
José Cuerda Quintana
Amalia Quiros Jimenez
Co- signed par:
European Parliament Intergroup "Peace for the Saharawi people", Margot Kessler, president
Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sáhara Occidental (IAJUWS), Felipe Briones
Asociación Provincial de Sevilla de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui: Miguel Castro Moreno
Asociación Umdraiga, Zaragoza
Asociación Riojana de Amigos de la RASD
Pedro Miguel López
Maite Berzosa urretabizkaia
Aitzol Diez Berzosa
Irantzu Jauregi Artola
ANA ORELLANA FERNANDEZ, CADIZ (ESPAÑA)
JORGE MARQUEZ, Cordoba
César Carbonell Azagra
Dario Carbonell Azagra
Yasmina Carbonell Azagra
Ruperto Carbonell Perez
Francisca Azagra Yanguas
Montserrat Fortuny Octavio
Meritxell Zamora Fortuny
Maragda Diaz Fortuny
Cora Carbonell Fortuny
Antonio Fortuny Estrade
Montserrat Octavio Conesa
Mª Isabel Linares Ramirez (España)