WATCH: Beautiful drone footage captures drilling protest in Sahara Desert

Images of thousands of Saharawi people protesting against oil company San Leon drilling in the Western Sahara were elegantly captured from the air by a drone.

This part of the Sahara is disputed territory, once belonging to Spain but now being occupied by Morocco. Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) say that the rights of the Saharawi people were completely ignored when San Leon people struck a deal to search for oil in their homeland.

A young Saharawi woman taking part in the protest said: “We completely reject the activities of those companies which are plundering our resources on a daily basis. As you can see, the people live in exile in brick-houses and tents. So we strongly condemn the illegal exploitation of our resources.”

The Saharawi people have long been persecuted within their own homeland by the Moroccan authorities, or forced out into refugee camps in the Algerian desert. The discovery of oil in the region would only exasperate the situation.

Self-styled body Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) seek independence within the region and have threatened to sue firms that attempt to drill there, making it clear that they will fight for autonomy.

The protest sends a clear message to San Leon, and to other oil companies all around the world regarding what many think are exploitative practices.

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