Sovereignty for Chagos

From the July-August 2017 issue of News & Letters

Dear Friends of the Diego Garcia/Chagos struggle,

The Mauritian Government delegation, which includes Olivier Bancoult and other members of the Chagos Refugees Group, has left for New York for an important UN debate.

On 22 June there will be a General Assembly debate and vote on item 87, in which Mauritius calls for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague to give an Advisory Opinion on the issue of sovereignty of Chagos, which Britain illegally occupies, and where the U.S. has its Diego Garcia military base. LALIT has long been calling for the Mauritian Government to take this action. Finally, in 2016, we succeeded in forcing them to call for an ICJ Opinion.

The Diego García Island in the Indian Ocean

The Diego García Island in the Indian Ocean

Britain managed to get an unusual six-month delay on the debate and vote. But six months was over on June 22. [Editor’s note: The UN General Assembly approved Mauritius’s resolution 94-15 over UK opposition.]

We are calling on the readers of News & Letters to contact your UN representative, or your elected representative, to ensure support for this call for an opinion on Mauritian sovereignty over Chagos.

This is just one of LALIT’s three-pronged aim: to re-unite the country by de-colonizing the part of Mauritius (Chagos Archipelago) that the British still colonize (a UN resolution to go to the ICJ will help this), to ensure the unconditional right of return of Chagossians who were so cruelly expelled 50 years ago, and to close the US military base on Chagos.

To see the Mauritian State’s formal “Explanatory Memorandum” to UN member states and for background geo-political information, you can write to us visit our site www.lalitmauritius.org

—Lindsey Collen, for LALIT

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