Robert HARNEIS-TDO- (FRANCE) -The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Britain should give up control over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, and said it had wrongfully forced the population to leave in the 1970s. This is an embarrassing result for the United Kingdom with the judges ruling 13 – 1 against the government and all the EU country judges voting with the majority. The one vote in favor of the UK was provided by the US judge.
Alan Duncan a junior minister at the Foreign Office has said that Britain will consider the view of the World Court on control of the Chagos Islands but that the dispute is with Mauritius and should be resolved bilaterally.
The U.N. General Assembly had asked the court to advise on whether the process of decolonization had been concluded lawfully.
Speaking in parliament Duncan said “We will of course consider the detail of the opinion carefully but this is a bilateral dispute and for the General Assembly to seek an advisory opinion by the ICJ was therefore a misuse of powers which sets a dangerous precedent for other bilateral disputes.” He added “The defense facilities on the British Indian ocean territory help to keep people here in Britain and the world safe and we will continue to seek a bilateral solution to what is a bilateral dispute with Mauritius.”
The true reason the UK refuses to decolonize the Chagos Islands is to provide an airbase for the US military on Diego Garcia. According to former Ambassador Craig Murray, ‘if Brexit goes ahead, the Chagos Islands will also lead to a major foreign policy disagreement between the UK and US on one side, and the EU on the other. The EU will be truly shocked by British repudiation of the ICJ.’