Morocco's new maritime boundary law has stoked tensions in disputed Western Sahara with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) ambassador to Algeria, Abdelkader Taleb Omar, who has warned of escalation in the armed struggle.

The former Spanish colony, claimed by Morocco as its Southern Province, has attracted attention from major and mid-tier oil companies both onshore and offshore, with both Rabat and the SADR previously awarding licences.

However, the International Court of Justice has rejected Morocco’s claims to sovereignty, while the United Nations Legal Office has condemned hydrocarbon “exploitation activities” undertaken without consulting the Sahrawi people.