British sovereignty over the Chagos archipelago has been formally contested by the government of Mauritius which claims its sovereignty, which was confirmed in 2019 by the International Court of Justice. In a ceremony, today at 10:30 am local time, Mauritian officials sang the national anthem of Mauritius and the red, blue, yellow and green banner of Mauritius was raised above the atoll of Peros Banhos. by the Mauritian ambassador to the United Nations, Jagdish Koonjul.
“We are carrying out the symbolic act of raising the flag, as the British did so many times to establish colonies. We, however, reclaim what has always been ours,” said the diplomat. A pre-recorded message from Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth was broadcast to Chagossians, Mauritian officials and the media gathered on the beach.
“This is the first time that Mauritius has led an expedition to this part of its territory,” he said. “I am sad that I have not been able to be part of this historic visit. I am delighted that our brothers and sisters from Chagos can travel to their place of birth without any foreign escort (British, ed).
“The international community and international institutions have already decided that this is our territory. What we are doing is legitimate”, the Mauritian Prime Minister told the Guardian, referring among other things to the United Nations General Assembly’s request for the Kingdom Kingdom to return the archipelago to Mauritius. Asked what would have happened if UK officials subsequently removed the Mauritian flag, Jugnauth said: “I don’t know what they will do. If they remove the flag, it will be a provocation on their part. The UK is not abiding by the rulings. of international law “.
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