UK Misses Deadline To Return Chagos Islands, Located In Indian Ocean, Back To Mauritius

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had given a six-month deadline to the United Kingdom to give up the control of the islands

Chagos Islands (Image Credit: countercurrents.org)

The United Kingdom has missed the deadline, given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), of six months to return back Chagos Islands to Mauritius, a former British Colony that was forced to give up the control of the islands way back in 1965 in exchange for independence. Following this ignorance, Mauritius called the UK an ‘illegal colonial occupier’.

In its defense, however, UK said that it does not recognize Mauritius’s claim of being a sovereign state.

Speaking of Chagos Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean, then they are a group of seven atolls, comprising of more than 60 tropical islands.

Coming back to the control of the islands, then Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Britain said that it has every right to hold on to them, one of which is, Diego Garcia, home to a military base of the United States.

"Mauritius has never held sovereignty over the BIOT and the UK does not recognize its claim," said the FCO.

When it comes to the UK itself, then the leader from Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has stressed on giving back the islands to Mauritius, “as a symbol of the way in which we wish to behave in international law”. Adding further, he also said that he would like to “right one of the wrongs” while looking forward to being in the government.

Talking about the history between Mauritius and UK on this matter, then in 1965 the latter had purchased Chagos Archipelago for £3m—and the BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory) was also created at that time.

As per the claims of Mauritius, it was forced to give up the islands to the UK, for its independence which was later achieved in 1968.
Three years ago, in 2016, the UN General Assembly had also voted in favour of returning the islands back to the country, with 116 votes supporting the move, while only 6 were against it.
Well, the deadline which was given to the UK is not binding which simply means that there will be no sanctions or any immediate punishment.

Source: BBC

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