• September 3, 2018

The long standing grievance of the Chagossian Islanders about their forced expulsion from their home by the United Kingdom fifty years ago is to be considered by the International Court of Justice. The case is being brought by Mauritius to which the Islanders were deported.

The Celtic League has long supported the claim of the Chagossians over the expulsion and the way they were treated. The sick and elderly were forced onto vessels and the Islanders livestock and pets were destroyed. The Islanders were effectively denied access even to the graves where their ancestors are buried.

The UK also cynically created a marine reserve around the Islands a decade ago which are used to house a vast US military base. However this was revealed as a ruse to further hinder the Islanders return when a cable was released as part of wikileaks in 2010.

The Manx government via its links with the Commonwealth has disgracefully supported this project.

Here is a preamble from a report in the UK press today (with link to full story);

The UK’s possession of a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean that includes the strategic US airbase of Diego Garcia is being challenged at the international court of justice.

Despite British attempts at the United Nations to prevent Mauritius’s claim to the Chagos Islands reaching The Hague, judges will spend four days from Monday hearing representatives from 22 countries arguing over colonial history and the rights of exiled islanders to return.

The overwhelming majority of states intervening in the dispute oppose Britain’s assertion that it has sovereignty over what it calls British Indian Ocean Territory, or BIOT. Only the US, Australia and Israel are expected to support the UK.

Judgment from the UN-backed court, which specialises in territorial and border disputes between countries, will be advisory, rather than legally binding. Nonetheless, it is likely to be interpreted as a sign of the UK’s international influence.

The row between Mauritius and the UK has become increasingly acrimonious. The ICJ hearing follows a humiliating defeat in the UN general assembly last year when 94 countries supported a Mauritian-backed resolution to seek an opinion from the ICJ on the legal status of the Chagos Islands. Only 15 countries were opposed.


Image: Chagossian people being gathered for deportation it was like something the Nazi’s did!

Bernard Moffatt

Celtic League Military Monitoring

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