The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the UK’s continued occupation of the Chagos Islands — a humiliating defeat for London on its continued colonial legacy.The Indian Ocean islands, which are home to US military base Diego Garcia, were separated from the former British territory of Mauritius during decolonization in 1968. On Wednesday, UN member states voted 116-6 for a non-binding resolution endorsing a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that separation was illegal and calling for the UK to return the islands to Mauritius within six months.Only Australia, Hungary, Israel, the Maldives and the US voted in support of the UK.”The advisory opinion is clear and unambiguous,” Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said. “It is decisive.”Jugnauth said that decolonization of the former British Empire had not been completed, nor would it be until the Chagos Islands were returned to their original owners. “This is a sacrosanct principle of the United Nations,” he added.

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Last modified: November 16, 2020