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Salomon Atoll is one of the many above water features of the Chagos Archipelago /Photo: Anne Sheppard/Wikipedia

Berlin group greets UN decision on UK’s occupation of Mauritius territory

Colonialism Reparation, a Berlin-based organization, has welcomed the recent UN decision on the continued British occupation of the Chagos Archipelago, a territory that belongs to the African nation of Mauritius. The United Nations General Assembly recently confirmed that the process of decolonisation of Mauritius in 1968 was not lawfully completed, giving the United Kingdom six months to withdraw its colonial administration from the Chagos Archipelago unconditionally.

The global body also requested that the United Kingdom apologies for the deportation of the original inhabitants and compensates the victims and, indeed, for the whole period of the British colonial rule of the territory.

On 22 May 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution 73/295 (Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965) introduced by Senegal on behalf of the Group of African States.

The General Assembly “welcomes the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 25 February 2019 on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965” and “demands that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland withdraw its colonial administration from the Chagos Archipelago unconditionally within a period of no more than six months from the adoption of the present resolution, thereby enabling Mauritius to complete the decolonization of its territory as rapidly as possible”.

The General Assembly also “urges the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to cooperate with Mauritius in facilitating the resettlement of Mauritian nationals, including those of Chagossian origin, in the Chagos Archipelago, and to pose no impediment or obstacle to such resettlement” and “calls upon all Member States” , “the United Nations and all its specialized agencies” and “all other international, regional and intergovernmental organizations, including those established by treaty,” to “recognize that the Chagos Archipelago forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius, to support the decolonization of Mauritius as rapidly as possible, and to refrain from impeding that process by recognizing, or giving effect to any measure taken by or on behalf of, the British Indian Ocean Territory”.

The resolution was adopted by 116 votes in favour, 6 against and 56 abstentions and was welcomed by Mauritius, the associations Groupe réfugiés Chagos and UK Chagos Support, India, the United Kingdom’s Leader of the Opposition and also by Madagascar, which could take a similar path for the Scattered Islands, Argentine, for Malvinas, and Cyprus, for Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Austin Ohaegbu with Colonialism Reparation press release

About the Chagos Archipelago
The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. The Chagos was home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel. Since being expelled, Chagossian natives have been prevented from returning to the islands.

The sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between the United Kingdom and Mauritius. In 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence, the United Kingdom excised the archipelago from Mauritius and the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches from the Seychelles to form the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). The islands were formally established as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on 8 November 1965.

On 23 June 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches were returned to the Seychelles. On 22 June 2017, the UN General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. On 25 February 2019, the International Court of Justice ruled that the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring to an end to its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible. On 22 May 2019, the United Nations General Assembly debated and adopted a resolution that affirmed that the Chagos archipelago “forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius.” (Source: Wikipedia)

About Colonialism Reparation
Colonialism Reparation promotes, supports and spreads non-violent activities aimed to create awareness of the current world situation and thereby 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.

http://www.colonialismreparation.org/

 

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