Mauritius: PM Determined to Pursue Struggle Over Chagos Archipelago's Sovereignty

Photo: Hogweard
Map of the Chagos Archipelago in Mauritius
press release

The Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, expressed his willingness and keen determination to pursue the struggle in bringing forth the claim of the Chagos Archipelago's sovereignty by Mauritius at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

He was speaking yesterday afternoon during a meeting with the press at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis whereby he announced that he will raise the issue of the Chagos Archipelago during his participation at the UN General Assembly Summit on refugees and migrants to be held in New York on 19th September 2016.

In light of this scenario, Sir Anerood Jugnauth appealed to every Mauritian citizen to support him in this endeavor which he said, is being undertaken following a consensus by all members of the National Assembly including the spokesperson of the people of Chagossian origin namely, Mr Olivier Bancoult.

He highlighted that the mission he is leading to the UN is a crucial one as he seeks referral by the UN General Assembly to the International Court of Justice, in order to obtain an advisory opinion in relation to the British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago) whereby he added that Mauritius does not recognise the so-called "British Indian Ocean Territory".

Sir Anerood Jugnauth reiterated his full support to Mauritian citizens of Chagossian origin in their struggle for resettlement in the Chagos Archipelago and expressed his confidence that Mauritius has a strong case with the support and solidarity of other countries in this action.

He further stressed that the issues of sovereignty and resettlement are indissociable and that the Republic of Mauritius will carry forward the case against the judgment of the UK Supreme Court.

It will be recalled that in a Joint Press Statement from the British High Commission and the Embassy of the United States of America released earlier in June both the UK and USA are absolutely clear about UK sovereignty of these islands, which have been British since 1814.

The communique further mentioned that the use of the islands for joint UK-US defence purposes was established in 1966. Whilst neither the UK nor USA recognises the Republic of Mauritius' claim to sovereignty of that Territory, the UK has made binding undertakings to cede it to Mauritius when it is no longer required for defence purposes. These defence purposes contribute significantly towards global security, and are central to efforts at countering regional threats, including terrorism and piracy and that Mauritius, the UK, and the United States all derive considerable benefit from current security arrangements.

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