Return the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius

21.03.2019 - Pressenza London

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Return the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius
A Chagossian.Between 1967 and 1973, the entire population was removed from the islands and moved to Mauritius and the Seychelles to make way for a joint United States-United Kingdom military base on Diego Garcia. (Image by Public domain)

PRESS RELEASE Colonialism reparation

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that the International Court of Justice has decided that the process of decolonization of Mauritius has not been lawfully completed and that the United Kingdom has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago and requests that the United Kingdom present apologies and compensations for the deportation of the original inhabitants and the whole period of British colonial rule.

On February 25, 2019 the International Court of Justice has delivered the advisory opinion Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 requested on June 22, 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly.

The Court considers that “as a result of the Chagos Archipelago’s unlawful detachment and its incorporation into a new colony, known as the [British Indian Ocean Territory] BIOT, the process of decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed when Mauritius acceded to independence in 1968”.

For this reason “the United Kingdom has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible and that all Member States must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius”. As regards the resettlement on the Chagos Archipelago of Mauritian nationals, including those of Chagossian origin, the Court was of the view that this is an issue relating to the protection of the human rights of those concerned, which should be addressed by the General Assembly during the completion of the decolonization of Mauritius.

The decision was taken as a full court with thirteen votes in favour and only one against and was immediately welcomed by the United Nations, the African Union, Mauritius, the associations Groupe réfugiés Chagos and UK Chagos Support, the United Kingdom’s Leader of the Opposition and also by Cyprus, which could start a similar path for Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Argentine and Comoros.

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that the International Court of Justice has decided that the process of decolonization of Mauritius has not been lawfully completed when Mauritius acceded to independence and that the United Kingdom has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible and requests that the United Kingdom, besides returning the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius, present apologies and compensations for the deportation of the original inhabitants and the whole period of British colonial rule.

For further information, inquiries and interviews:

Colonialism Reparation  http://www.colonialismreparation.org/
Press Office: media@colonialismreparation.org

Colonialism Reparation is part of the movement for the condemnation, the reconciliation, the apologies and the compensation for colonialism.

Colonialism Reparation promotes, supports and spreads non-violent activities aimed to create awareness of the current world situation and thereby to encourage the achievement of its objective

  • that the colonizing nations condemn their colonial past recognizing it as a crime against humanity and that the colonized nations exert pressure to make it happen
  • that the colonizing nations reconcile with their past, permanently distancing themselves from it by officially apologizing the colonized nations
  • that the colonizing nations compensate the colonized nations for the atrocities and abuses committed thus allowing an improvement in their socio-economic conditions.

The contribution of every person who recognizes the importance of this activity to the creation of a climate of friendship and cooperation between peoples is necessary and appreciated. This contribution will create an extremely positive precedent in international relations as well, promoting the supremacy of the “force of law” on the “law of force”.

Categories: Human Rights, International, Press Releases
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