Former UK High Commissioners to Mauritius debate Chagos
In the Mauritian press this month two former UK High Commissioners to Mauritius have debated the future of the Chagos Islands.
Speaking to English language current affairs magazine Weekly, outgoing High Commissioner Jonathan Drew took part in a feisty interview with a Mauritian journalist. Mr Drew defends the UK's sovereignty claim over the Chagos Islands in detail, which is thoroughly questioned by the Mauritian interviewer.
He also downplays the significance of the UN General Assembly vote to refer the UK to the International Court of Justice over it's treatment of the Chagos Islands.
Replying to this letter the following week, another former UK High Commissioner to Mauritius (2000-2004) David Snoxell critiqued Mr Drew's answers. Since his retirement, Mr Snoxell has become a firm supporter of the Chagossian people's fight for justice. His letter can be read in full here.
Mr Snoxell suggests that whilst Mr Drew rightly laments that LGBT people still face human rights issues in Mauritius, he ignores the human rights violations suffered by the Chagossian people over decades.
He adds that the UK has failed to recognise the need to involve Mauritius in the management of the Chagos Islands. Concluding the article, he notes regretfully that "little has changed" since he left his post 13 years ago.
UK Chagos Support Association takes no position on the sovereignty dispute over the Chagos Islands, other than to say that Chagossians themselves must be at the centre of any decisions about the future sovereignty of their homeland. But we certainly agree that there is much the UK government needs to do now to respect their human rights, including but not limited to supporting the community to return to the Chagos Islands.