Mauritius Gets African Backing in Dispute With U.K. Over Islands

(Bloomberg) -- Mauritius has the support of the African Union and about 30 other countries in its battle to regain control off an Indian Ocean archipelago administered by the U.K., Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said.

The International Court of Justice in the Hague will hold three days of hearings from Sept. 3 about the dispute over the Chagos archipelago, Jugnauth told reporters Friday in the capital, Port Louis. The United Nations in June 2017 asked the court for an advisory opinion about the U.K. separation of Chagos from Mauritius in 1965, three years prior to the latter’s independence, he said.

“Mauritius, 30 countries and the African Union have made written submissions” to the court, Jugnauth said. The ICJ judgment will be referred to the UN and will be a “crucial step in completing the decolonization of Mauritius,” he said.

The Chagos archipelago includes the island of Diego Garcia, home to a U.S. military base that’s been used to launch bomber jets for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The request to the ICJ excludes Diego Garcia, Jugnauth said.

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