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Mauritius Moves To Reclaim Disputed Chagos Island

The government of Mauritius is sending a boat to the disputed Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

The Chagos archipelago is owned by Britain but Mauritius has won growing international support for its campaign to take back the islands.

The boat is carrying senior Mauritian government officials and some elderly Chagossians who were forced by Britain to leave their homes 50 years ago.

The official reason for this unprecedented boat trip is to map reefs in the waters around the remote Chagos Islands.

Analysts say this is a highly political – some would say – provocative move by Mauritius, which is, increasingly, seeking to assert what it maintains is its rightful claim to the archipelago.

Britain says Mauritius can have Chagos back when it is no longer needed for security purposes.

One of the islands, Diego Garcia, is home to an important American military base but with world opinion – at the UN and elsewhere – now shifting firmly behind Mauritius, Britain is under growing pressure to hand the Chagos Islands over now.

The UK’s foreign office has been informed about the boat trip.


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