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Chagos Islands: point of return beckons on Chagossians

Chagos Islands: point of return beckons on Chagossians

History

A collative victims of the Cold War, and former inhabitants of the Chagos islands, an archipelago lost in the Indian Ocean, have continued unabated for a struggle to return to their land.

The battle has been on for more than 40 years after their expulsion to make room for the American military base of Diego Garcia.

“Since 1997, there has been a legal actions against the British government. we have seen the victory, we have experienced defeat but have never been discouraged because we know that our cause is a just one. What we are asking is for our dignity, it is our fundamental right.’‘ said Oliver Bancoult president of the association of Chagos refugees.

Since 1997, there has been a legal actions against the British government. we have seen the victory, we have experienced defeat but have never been discouraged.

The Chagossian were forceful removed from their land by the UK to make a way for a US military base as a result of the 1965 cold war.

“Almost 2.000 Chagossian with their children have been brutally uprooted and abandoned in the island of Mauritius and a few others in Seychelles.Completely inhuman! But the Great Britain was an imperial power so there are a lot of injustices , there are a lot of crimes that they left behind” said Paul Berenger, former prime minister of Mauritius.

Their case have for several times been pleaded for before the General Assembly of the United Nations. Discussions are on-going and are expected to conclude in mid-2017.

The current Prime Minister of Mauritius reserves even the possibility to bring the case before the International Court of Justice.

“We are fighting for our sovereignty, it is for the sovereignty to restore the sovereignty of Mauritius on all the Chagos Archipelago and the island of Mauritius no longer contests this , does not dispute this, does not dispute the existence of a basis to Diego Garcia these days,“said Berenger.

Today, the Chagossian and their descendants are nearly 10,000, divided in Mauritius, the Seychelles and in Great Britain, some had even been granted a British citizenship.

Its been Fifty-one years after the creation of the British Indian Ocean territory and 49 years since the expulsion of the Chagossians began.

The United Kingdom has a duty to put right this great wrong. It is a wrong that has failed to be resolved by every UK Government for more than half a century.