“Sir Paul Gore-Booth, senior official at the Foreign Office, wrote to a diplomat in 1966: “We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise is to get some rocks which will remain ours… There will be no indigenous population except seagulls…”” (BBC – ‘The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale’ 03.11.2000)
The Neo-Colonial Relic, the islands that departed unfairly in the 1960s, which the United Kingdom and its allies has made into a strategic military is now deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice.
That was about time, as the Republic of Mauritius is getting their territories back. This because the Her Majesties Government back in 1968 didn’t decolonize Mauritius properly. They clearly overstepped their boundaries and took the administrative role. As they ensured control and also made both Mauritius Nationals and Chagossian people into refugees and migrants. As they had to resettle elsewhere, because the United Kingdom took over the land.
Therefore, today’s legal judgement in the International Court Justice, have voted in favour of Mauritius and their claims to the islands, this means the United States and United Kingdom have to vacate or make arrangements directly with Mauritius, as they took the Archipelago without justification.
As it has stated today:
“Is of the opinion that, having regard to international law, the process of decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed when that country acceded to independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago; Is of the opinion that the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible; Is of the opinion that all Member States are under an obligation to co-operate with the United Nations in order to complete the decolonization of Mauritius” (International Court Justice, 25.02.2019).
This shouldn’t be shock, as this have been written about a decade ago: “Two chapters in particular are world-class journalism, reaching the heights of Pilger’s old friend and mentor Martha Gellhorn. “Stealing a Nation” tells the shamefully under-reported story of how the British government ethnically cleansed thousands of its own citizens – a “crime against humanity”, according to the International Criminal Court. In secrecy, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, British governments “tricked, coerced and finally expelled the entire population” of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, “to give the principal island, Diego Garcia, a paradise, to the Americans for a military base”” (Johann Harri – ‘Freedom Next Time, by John Pilger’ 09.07.2006, Independent).
So, today, this wrong is hopefully ending. That the theft of the islands in favour of a military base is soon undone. As the International Community should care for what it takes away. The sins of the past, which has hurt the Mauritius Nationals and Chagossians there. They should be relieved and also patch their hurt. Since, the United Kingdom and United States of America has held the islands without rights.
Their imperialistic and neo-colonial behaviour has been the pre-text for these actions. Seemingly, done it without any fuzz. Now, they should move on and even back-pay for the damages done to archipelago there. Mauritius and their population deserves so. Peace.