The United Nations Supreme Court has called on Britain to quickly transfer control of an Indian Ocean chain of islands, the largest of which is a strategically important US military base, to Mauritius.
Non-binding In a statement issued on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that the United Kingdom illegally separated the islands of the Chagos Archipelago from its former colony during the 1960s, meaning that thousands of islanders were deported.
"The United Kingdom is under an obligation to put an end to the administration of the Chagos Archipelago as soon as possible, so that Mauritius can complete the decolonization of its territory in a way that respects the right of peoples to self-determination." 1
Mauritius claims that the Chagos Archipelago has been part of its territory since at least the 18th century and was illegally taken over by Great Britain in 1965, three years before the independence of the island state.
Britain, however, insists that it has sovereignty over the archipelago, which it calls the British Indian Ocean Territory.
The British government defended the base after the announcement of the court.
"The defenses of the British Indian Ocean The territory helps to protect people here in the UK and around the world from terrorist threats, organized crime and piracy," the State Department said in a statement.
Britain expelled approximately 2,000 people from the 70s archipelago in the 1960s to make room for a huge US military base on the largest of the islands, Diego Garcia the an important one played a strategic role in the Cold War before being employed as a prosecutor 19659004 The expulsions were then described in a British diplomatic cable as the removal of "a few Tarzans and Fridays".
Many of the displaced were resettled in Britain and have since fought in British courts to return to the islands. Her supporters are the leader of the largest British opposition Labor party, Jeremy Corbyn.
Britain, which apologized in September for the "shameful" manner in which thousands of islanders were expelled from the Chagos Archipelago, insisted that Mauritius had wrongfully brought case to the ICJ.
The United States said the court has a "duty" not to hold a position in the dispute.
The legal concept of Monday is only the 28th, since the ICJ was the 28th established in 1946 after World War II to provide a tribunal for the settlement of disputes between UN member states.
Previous statements included one about the 1945 West Berlin Separation Barrier (19459005). The judges said that judges were illegal.
Al Jazeera and news agencies