Mauritius insists Chagos Islands are integral part of its territory

Mauritius has insisted that the Chagos Archipelago has always formed and continues to form an integral part of the territory of Mauritius and it does not recognise the so-called “British Indian Ocean Territory”.

In a communique issued Saturday in Port Louis, the Prime Minsiters’s Office said: “The Government of Mauritius reiterates that it does not recognise the legality of the actions that the UK is taking in respect of the Chagos Archipelago as they are in breach of international law.

“This follows a statement made to the UK Parliament on November 16, 2016 by the UK Government concerning decisions it has purportedly taken as regards the Chagos Archipelago.”

The UK statement maintained that the Chagossian community would not be allowed to resettle in the Chagos Archipelago; a £40 million package will be funded over the next 10 years by the UK Government to support improvements to the livelihoods of the Chagossians; and the US presence in the Chagos Archipelago under current arrangements with the UK will continue until 2036.

“Mauritius considers that the UK has acted in blatant breach of the letter and spirit of the Award delivered on March 18, 2015 in the case brought by Mauritius against the UK under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in as much as the UK has failed to fully involve Mauritius, as required by the Award, in the renewed use, until 2036, of the Chagos Archipelago for the purposes for which it is currently being used,” the communiqué said.

It stated that Mauritius protests strongly against the unilateral decision of the UK Government aimed at denying Mauritian citizens of Chagossian origin their legitimate right of return to the Chagos Archipelago.

It also reiterated that the denial of the right of Mauritians in general, and those of Chagossian origin in particular, to settle in the Chagos Archipelago is a manifest breach of international law and outrageously flouts their human rights.

“While any financial assistance could provide some relief to Mauritians of Chagossian origin, no amount of money and no public apology by the UK Government can make lawful what is unlawful, or dilute the rights of Mauritius under international law and as reflected in the various resolutions of the United Nations,” it added.

The Mauritian Government reaffirmed its commitment and determination to relentlessly pursue its initiatives in conformity with international law to complete the decolonization of Mauritius, thereby enabling Mauritius to effectively exercise its sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago.

Mauritius has full justification to take forward the completion of the process of decolonization, which is now on the agenda of the current session of the UN General Assembly, with a view to putting the matter before the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion, it said.

Source PANA



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