Chagossians claim fishing rights in their homeland
Chagossians are going to the Supreme Court to challenge the creation of the Chagos Islands Marine Protection Area by the United Kingdom around the Chagos. The case will be heard on 28 and 29 June in the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom.
A delegation of the Chagos Refugee Group (GRC) from Mauritius will be there, supported also be a group of Chagossians resident in Seychelles.
The Marine Protected Area (MPA) has been shrouded in controversy since it's creation in 2009. Infamously, Wikileaks cables released in 2011 included a comment from a Foreign Office Official that the creation of the MPA was "the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT [the Chagos Islands]."
This led to the suspicion that the MPA was been created at least in part to prevent Chagossians from returning to their homeland. An independent government-commissioned consultation last year however confirmed the Marine Protected Area could be maintained, with at most minor adjustments, with a returned Chagossian population.
The creation of the Chagos Islands MPA was rushed, and there was a failure to carry out sufficient consultation with the Chagossian community. Two years ago the Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the UK government had also failed to consult with the Mauritian government when creating the Marine Protected Area.