Free Diego Garcia

News in Brief by PN staff

Britain must hand the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean back to Mauritius – and that includes the largest island, Diego Garcia, where the US has built a massive military base. That is the non-binding advisory opinion of the world court, delivered on 25 February, as requested by the UN general assembly.

In the 1960s, Britain detached the Chagos archipelago from Mauritius and deported 2,000 Chagossians in order to hang onto the islands when Mauritius became independent in 1968, and create a blank slate for the US base.

The international court of justice says Britain should complete the decolonisation by restoring the Chagos Islands to Mauritius. The issue now goes back to the general assembly.