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Protests in Western Sahara against solar and wind plant construction

Protests erupted yesterday in the Western Sahara over the construction of renewable energy plants without the permission of the Sahrawi people.

The protests, which took place in the capital Laayoune, coincided with the United Nation's COP22 conference on climate change yesterday in Marrakech.

Siemens and Enel are building solar and wind plants in the region

"Siemens should not back Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara through energy infrastructure," the Western Sahara Resource Watch (WRSW) said on social media.

Siemens has constructed 22 new renewable energy plants in the Western Sahara, which power over 95 per cent of mineral extraction plants in the Sahrawi region.

The World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the European Union have previously refused to finance development projects in Western Sahara.

"If we support those investments, it would look like we are supporting the Moroccan position. We are neutral regarding that conflict," a banker told Reuters.

The contested region has recently been engrossed in tensions between Morocco and the Sahrawi Polisario Front which has been ongoing since 1975.

Categories
AfricaInternational OrganisationsMoroccoNewsWorld Bank
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