Mauritius will relentlessly pursue its struggle to regain sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago and restore the rights of its citizens who were forcibly evicted. This ongoing struggle is key to Government's commitment towards the well-being of the Chagossian community.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth made this statement on 03 November 2017 during a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the deportation of the Chagossian community. The ceremony was held at Quay C in Port Louis and was organised by the Prime Minister's Office in collaboration with the Chagossian Welfare Fund.
He highlighted his firm determination to ensure that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mauritius are fully respected and safeguarded. He stressed that it has always been the unequivocal stand of Mauritius that the Chagos Archipelago forms an integral part of the Mauritian territory.
The Prime Minister underlined that the support of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been sought to help Mauritius exercise its sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago and to assist Chagossians regain their rights to return to their homes. In this regard, documents concerning the difficult conditions faced by the Chagossians during their deportation are being prepared and will soon be submitted to the ICJ, he stated.
Mr Jugnauth recalled that the illegal eviction of the Chagossians by the United Kingdom has deprived them of their rights and culture. On this ground, he emphasised that Government will leave no stone unturned for the preservation of the rights and the cultural heritage of the Chagossian community.
He recalled that the grant to the Chagossian Welfare Fund has been increased by 50% to reach Rs 9 million to cater for renovation works at the community centres and to enable more welfare activities. A plot of state land has also been allocated to the Chagos Refugees Group for the establishment of a training centre in view of providing agricultural and craft/handicraft education to young Chagossians, he added.
Also present at the event, the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth highlighted that there has been a violation of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 which highly condemns any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity.
He reiterated that the excision of the Chagos Archipelago from the Mauritian territory and the forced expulsion of its natives from the island are in total disregard of their human rights. On that score, he underlined that Government is fully determined to combat this injustice towards the Chagossian community and the Mauritian nation.
For his part, the Chairman and Leader of the Chagos Refugees Group, Mr Louis Olivier Bancoult underscored that UK officials have defied the rights of the Chagossian community. He added that the Chagossians have endured immense pain and deep sufferings during their illegal deportation. On this ground, he appealed for the support of all Mauritians to help resolve the dispute over the sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago and preserve the rights of its people.