Chagos Islands: UK must respect International Court of Justice ruling

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Plaid Cymru has urged the UK Government to respect the ruling of the International Court of Justice, which is to examine the legal status of the Chagos Islands following a vote at the United Nations General Assembly.

The former British colony used to be part of Mauritius but was separated in 1965 before the UK granted the rest of Mauritius its independence. It is currently leased to the United States of America and being used as an airbase.

Plaid Cymru’s International Affairs spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, has welcomed the UN General Assembly’s decision, which voted 94 to 15 in favour of taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice, saying Plaid Cymru “stands with oppressed nations across the world.”

Mr Edwards has described the removal of the Chagos Islands’ inhabitants to make way for a US airbase as a “historical injustice”.

Commenting, Plaid Cymru’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards said:

“The decision of the UN General Assembly is welcome. Plaid Cymru stands with oppressed nations across the world and it is important that the historical injustice of forcing the Chagos Islands’ inhabitants to leave their homes to make way for a US airbase is internationally recognised, and it is especially important that it is recognised by the British Government.

“There is nothing in the way the British State treated these inhabitants we should be proud of. Pride should be felt by the Chagossians whose spirit enabled them to win their right to return through the High Court in 2000 and ensure the vast majority of the UN General Assembly voted in their favour.

“The British Government would be better advised to invest in rebuilding the islands’ infrastructure rather than waste resources on court cases to try and deny the islanders their basic human rights.

“Plaid Cymru supports Mauritius’ struggle for justice and I call on the British Government to respect the ruling of the International Court of Justice.”

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