African Union orders Britain to withdraw from Chagos Islands, end 'colonial administration'

Mauritius calls UK an'illegal colonial occupier after missing UN deadline to return Chagos Islands

Mauritius a former British colony claims it was forced to trade the Chagos Islands in exchange for independence

Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has branded Britain an illegal colonial occupier after the country failed to meet a United Nations deadline to hand over an overseas territory to Mauritius, a former British colony in the Indian Ocean, BBC reported.

"It's clear that in refusing to return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius and defying the UN General Assembly and International Court of Justice, this Conservative Government shamefully considers itself to be above international law", he added in a statement. "We immediately will enact our manifesto promise to allow the people of the Chagos Islands and their descendants the right to return to the lands from which they should never have been removed".

The Chagos Islands are located more than 2,000 miles off the east coast of Africa and around 310 miles south of the Maldives Archipelago.

Islanders were compensated with a payment of less than £3,000.

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However, Mauritius says it was forced to trade the small archipelago in the Indian Ocean in 1965 for independence.

The only inhabited island of the Indian Ocean archipelago is home to the Diego Garcia U.S. military base, rented out by Britain and a bomber base for the Air Force.

Earlier this year, the United Nations general assembly voted by an overwhelming majority of 116-6 in favour of the motion demanding that the islands, Britain's last remaining African territory, be reunited with Mauritius.

Mauritius, which gained independence from Britain in 1968, maintains the islands are its own.

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In a statement today, the Foreign Office said: "The UK has no doubt as to our sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), which has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814".

Diego Garcia remains a strategically important U.S. military base and has been used for highly controversial rendition flights carrying suspects of terrorism.

"The time has come for the United Kingdom to comply with the global rule of law which it has so long championed".

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