29 July 2005

Baraka and ROC Study of Cap Juby area

The SADR government takes note of the announcement made on 29 July by Baraka Petroleum Limited that it "has agreed to conduct a joint study with Roc Oil Company Limited (ROC)" to evaluate the Cap Juby prospect in offshore Morocco. Baraka's statement mentions that "Baraka and ROC will concentrate their study on the Cap Juby heavy oil discovery and previously identified target areas" and that their immediate areas of interest are in Moroccan waters.

The SADR government has been assured by the companies involved that the area to be evaluated does not lie in the offshore territory of the SADR. Furthermore, this license does not overlay or impact any of the license areas offered in the SADR Licensing Round announced in May this year.

The SADR government would like to emphasise that Morocco has no sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara. On 16 October 1975 the International Court of Justice confirmed that Morocco had no sovereignty over any part of Western Sahara.

On 29 January 2002, The Under-Secretary-General of Legal Affairs at the UN, Mr Hans Correll, reaffirmed the ICJ verdict in a legal opinion to the Security Council on the matter of the resources of Western Sahara and added that if exploration and exploitation of the oil resources of the Territory "were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, they would be in violation of the international law principles applicable to mineral resource activities in Non-Self-Governing Territories".

On 20 July 2004 Robert Zoellick the United States Trade Representative, stated in reference to the recent Free Trade Agreement between the USA and Morocco that:  "the United States and many other countries do not recognise Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara and have consistently urged the parties to work with the United Nations to resolve the conflict by peaceful means. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will cover trade and investment in the territory of Morocco as recognised internationally and will not include Western Sahara."

The SADR government takes this opportunity to remind all foreign companies that any agreement involving Western Sahara that is  entered into with the occupying  Moroccan regime is illegal and unethical, will be resisted by the SADR Government and its supporters and will inevitably harm the companies' reputation and shareholders interests.

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