International Court of Justice hear Chagos case: 3 September
On the 3rd September the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hear what is officially "a request for an advisory opinion" from on the "legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965."
The case comes to the ICJ after a United Nations General Assembly vote last year referred the dispute between Mauritius and the UK to the Court.
The case was brought to the UN by Mauritius, as part of an ongoing sovereignty dispute with the UK over the Chagos Islands. When Mauritius, as a former British colony, was granted independence the Chagos Islands were retained, becoming the British Indian Ocean Territory.
Mauritius contends that this was illegal, and their sovereignty over the islands should be fully restored and respected.
The land's native people, the Chagos Islanders, were forcibly and permanently removed from their homeland by the end of 1973. This was as part of a deal between the UK and US governments to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest Chagos Island.
Part of Mauritius' argument in referring the case to the ICJ noted that they were unable to resettle Chagossians on the Chagos Islands owing to the continued occupation of the land by the UK and US military.
UK Chagos Support Association takes no view on the issue of the sovereignty of the Chagos Islands, other than to say the views of the Chagos Islanders themselves must be the central consideration.
We do though hope the attention the Chagos Islands get at the International Court of Justice will at the very least serve as a reminder for the world of the great injustices suffered by the Chagossian people over the last half century.