"The occupation of Western-Sahara has continued for several decades and is in many ways one of the world's "forgotten" conflicts. Presently, it is difficult to conclude that companies can engage in oil exploration on the continental shelf off the coast of Western Sahara in a manner consistent with international law", Head of Responsible Investments for KLP Kapitalforvaltning, Jeanett Bergan stated in a press release today.
KLP thus announced that it has excluded Glencore due to the company's oil exploration off the coast of Western Sahara.
Glencore's involvement in Western Sahara received attention in Norway as it had contracted a Norwegian seismic services company to carry out mapping of the seafloor on its licence in the occupied territory. The company they had commissioned, SeaBird Exploration, later regretted its involvement. «We admit having done a mistake. It feels very uncomfortable having contributed in supporting an occupation power», SeaBird stated regarding its Glencore partnership.
The investor KLP also now reincludes the Australian company Wesfarmers in its investment universe, following a blacklisting of the latter in 2007 due to import of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. "The company has, however, developed a technological method for processing phosphate such that Wesfarmers no longer needs or purchases phosphate from Western Sahara", KLP noted.
KLP is a mutual insurance company responsible for the management of municipal and county pensions and insurance issues in Norway.
Since 1975, three quarters of the territory of Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco. A majority of the population is still living in refugee camps in Algeria. Those who remained in their homeland are subjected to serious harassment from the Moroccan occupiers. For more than 40 years the Sahrawis have been waiting for the fullfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.
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