PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – The African Union on Friday gotten in touch with Britain to withdraw from the Chagos Islands and end its “continued colonial administration” there after a U.N. deadline for it to do so ended.
The Chagos Islands belong to the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, according to an advisory opinion from the leading United Nations court issued in February. The U.N. General Assembly enacted May in favor of Britain returning the islands to Mauritius and set a due date for Nov.22
The African Union advised Britain to comply with the U.N. resolution and restated the AU’s support “for a complete decolonisation” of the Chagos Islands.
Britain does not recognize Mauritius’ sovereignty claim.
” The UK believes regarding our sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Area (BIOT), which has been under continuous British sovereignty given that 1814,” Britain’s Foreign Workplace said in a statement on Nov. 5.
Around 200 protesters gathered outside the British High Commission in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, on Friday. They demanded Britain cede the Chagos Islands to Mauritius and said they wished to return to the archipelago where they were born.
A group supporting the rights of individuals native to the Chagos Islands stated they were considering choices for submitting a case versus Britain at the International Wrongdoer Court.
” We need to take a look at different avenues considered that the UK is not adhering to the decision of the United Nations,” Olivier Bancoult, who was born on among the islands of the island chain and is leader of the Chagossian Refugee Group, told Reuters.
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that Britain’s rejection to offer up control of the islands was an offense of worldwide law.
” The United Kingdom can not proclaim to be a champion of the rule of law and human rights whilst preserving a prohibited colonial administration,” he told parliament on Thursday.
The only occupied island of the Indian Ocean island chain is home to the Diego Garcia U.S. military base, leased by Britain, and a bomber base for the Air Force.
Mauritius will continue to enable the United States to operate the base even if it resumed control over the islands, Jugnauth stated in parliament on Thursday.
” Mauritius has actually specified on different occasions that it completely recognizes the significance of the military base in Diego Garcia and will take no action that will hamper its ongoing operation,” he said.
Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Writing by Maggie Fick; Modifying by Mark Heinrich