26 October 2017

Mauritius: State Land Allocated to Chagossian Community to Run Agricultural Training Centre

press release

The Ministry of Housing and Lands has allocated a plot of State Land of some 500m2 in Pointe aux Sables to the Chagos Refugees Group for the establishment of a training centre in view of providing agricultural and craft/handicraft education to young Chagossians.

The letter of intent for the plot of land was handed over by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Showkutally Soodhun, to the President and co-founder of the Chagos Refugees Group, Mr Louis Olivier Bancoult, during a ceremony held yesterday at Marie Lisette Talatte Chagossian Community Centre in Pointe aux Sables.

In his address, the Vice-Prime Minister recalled the fight of the Government on the issue of sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago and that of the Chagossians for their resettlement there. Mr Soodhun commended the efforts and patience of the Chagossian community in not only their struggle to return to their homeland but also in improving the life of the people through education and hard work. He congratulated the Chagos Refugees Group for the laudable initiative to go back to the land and offer hands on training in agriculture to the youth.

Speaking on the fight for the return of the Chagos Archipelago to the effective control of Mauritius, the Vice-Prime Minister stated that Government's endeavours are relentless in upholding the rights of the country and the Chagossians. He added that at the request of the Prime Minister, all Ministers going on official mission abroad, are to seek the cooperation of the international community in making written submissions to the International Court of Justice in support of the respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mauritius.

For his part, the President of the Chagos Refugees Group thanked the Government for its assistance and the allocation of the plot of land. He explained that the land will be used to provide agricultural technical vocational education to young Chagossians who have difficulties in completing their schooling. According to Mr Bancoult, medicinal plants and fruit crops from the Chagos Archipelago will also be grown on the plot of land.


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