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"It is a now a question of political will" UK Diplomat David Snoxell on hopes Chagossian R


Writing for Conservative Home (click to read the full article on Conservativehome.com), David Snoxell has called for the UK Government to rectify injustices committed to the Chagos Islanders by successive UK Governments. The co-ordinator of the Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group and British High Commissioner to Mauritius from 2000-2004, David Snoxell, has urged the UK Government to come to a decision on the resettlement of Chagossians and to “rectify the injustices and human rights violations” of the Chagossian case.

David Snoxell’s article and his call on the Government marks the fifty year anniversary of the UK/US 1966 Agreement, which made the British Indian Ocean Territories, including the Chagos Islands, available for the defence requirements of the United States. This agreement allowed the United States’ to initiate the development and utilisation of Diego Garcia as a US military base.

In his article for Conservative Home titled ‘Fifty years on, it is time to rectify the injustices done to the Chagossians’, David Snoxell outlined several clear actions that he suggests UK Government should take in order to create a just settlement for the Chagos Islanders.

In the first of David Snoxell’s recommended actions to be taken by the UK Government, he posits that the Government should honour its responsibilities, at least in part, to the Chagossian people by commencing a resettlement programme.

Snoxell points to the KPMG study into resettlement, arguing that the dcument demonstrated “that there were no reasons why resettlement should not take place…Nearly a year after the KPMG report was published, a decision on resettlement is still awaited.”

Elsewhere, Snoxell suggests that in order to pursue the policy of resettlement, the UK Government should negotiate a US contribution to the costs of resettlement. When negotiating a renewal of the 1966 Agreement with the US, Snoxell argues that a condition of the agreement “should be a US contribution to the costs of resettlement”.

Further to this, David Snoxell utilised his article to argue that the Government should allow the FCO to restore the right of abode, which would then allow for a pilot resettlement, as proposed and supported by the KPMG study. “There is nothing” he asserts, “to stop the FCO restoring the right of abode, in the same way that the Foreign Secretary restored it in 2000 following a High Court judgement. The decision to allow a pilot resettlement, as proposed by KPMG is primarily one of cost and above all, political will.”

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