AU expresses concern over UK colonial administration of Chagos Archipelago

Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has expressed deep concern over the continued “colonial administration” of the United Kingdom (UK) to the Chagos Archipelago.

“The Chairperson expresses his deep concern over the continued colonial administration of the United Kingdom to the Chagos Archipelago, in violation of the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution 73/295 adopted on May 22, 2019, in which the international community demanded from the United Kingdom to withdraw unconditionally within six months from the date of the Resolution, which expired on November 22, 2019,” an AU statement issued late Friday read.

Chairperson of the 55-member pan African bloc further recalled that the UN General Assembly Resolution 73/295 was adopted following the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of February 25 this year “on the legal effects of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965”.

Mahamat also “reiterates the support of the African Union to the Republic of Mauritius for a complete decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago, in conformity with the Constitutive Act of the African Union which defines the defence of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Member States as one of its main objectives,” the statement read.

He further reiterated the relevant decisions made by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU on the matter, in particular the Assembly/AU/Dec. 747(XXXll) decision on the decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago, which was adopted in February this year in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The AU Commission Chairperson also “called upon the United Kingdom to comply with the General Assembly Resolution, within the spirit of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice”.

He further “requests the international community to continue its support to the Republic of Mauritius for a complete decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago”.

Chagos Archipelago, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, was hived off Mauritius in the run-up to independence in 1965.

Britain has retained possession of the islands ever since, while Mauritius has continued to claim its sovereignty over them. The International Court of Justice, also the principal judicial organ of the UN, in February handed Mauritius a victory when it said in a legal opinion that Britain had illegally split the islands and should give up control of them. -Xinhua

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