Mauritius: Mauritian media highlight Chagos issue for second consecutive week

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – The controversy between Mauritius and Great Britain on the issue of the Chagos archipelago was highlighted for the second consecutive week by the media in the island-nation.

It started Tuesday on following a new parliamentary question on the issue asked by the leader of the opposition, Mr Paul Bérenger.

Reporting on the session, the daily "Le Mauricien" wrote that Prime minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth underlined that the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos archipelago and the resettlement of the Chagossian people in the archipelago were inseparable.

According to the newspaper, the Prime Minister did not reveal his future move to exert effective control over the Chagos nor did he indicate when he would take the matter to the relevant international organizations and the UN General Assembly.

He, however, reiterated his profound conviction that "London will not give back the Chagos to Mauritius willingly".

According to "Le Mauricien", Sir Anerood maintained that the Chagos archipelago, including the island of Diego Garcia, "is and has always been an integral part of Mauritian territory”.

"Mauritius does not recognize the so-called British Indian Ocean Territory that Great Britain pretends to have created after illegally excising the Chagos archipelago from the territory of Mauritius before the island’s accession to independence, in violation of international law and also the UN resolutions of 1960, 1965, 1966 and 1967," Sir Anerood said.

The Prime Minister added that Mauritius was sparing no effort to be able to exert its sovereignty over the Chagos.

On its part, the weekly "Weekend" reported that former President of the Seychelles France-Albert René caused quite a stir in the debate about the Mauritian claim over the Chagos archipelago by engaging the responsibility of the former Mauritian political leaders who participated in the discussions and constitutional conferences regarding independence with the then British government.

According to this newspaper, Mr René did not spare the Mauritian leaders. "He drew a parallel between the position adopted by the Seychelles regarding the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches, excised in 1965 by the British to form the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and that of Mauritius regarding the Chagos archipelago," wrote the newspaper.

Mr Rene believes Mauritians were not forceful in their demand at the time of independence.

Meanwhile, the daily "Le Défi" reported on a statement from the General Secretary of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Mr Jean Claude de L’Estrac, who said all documents on the affair showed that "the excision was done in agreement with Mauritius and the Seychelles following several discussions”.

Finally, “Le Mauricien", wrote in its edition of Friday that British Prime Minister David Cameron had washed his hands off the affair. "He told his Mauritian counterpart that Britain will soon have a new government and it would be preferable for Mauritius to discuss the matter with the new government.”
-0- PANA NA/JSG SOC/ACK/MA 9July2016

09 july 2016 17:35:23

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