Britain’s “outright defiance” of a UN deadline to hand the Chagos Islands to Mauritius by Friday, in a final act of African “decolonisation”, has been condemned by Mauritius and the globally-scattered communities of exiled islanders.
The UK’s refusal to end its occupation of the Indian Ocean archipelago is expected to be marked by protests outside the UK high commission in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, by those who were forcibly deported more than 40 years ago and their descendants.
Britain purchased the Chagos Archipelago for £3 million after it was separated from Mauritius in 1965, when the island nation was still a British colony.
Mauritius claims it was forced to give it up in exchange for independence, which it gained in 1968.
Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said the UK was now an illegal colonial occupier, according to the BBC.
In May, the UN General Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority of 116 to six countries in favour of a motion condemning Britain’s occupation and demanding, what is known as the British Indian Ocean Territory, be reunified with Mauritius.