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Chagos Islands, Clash, Interest, UK, US, Mauritius
I attended a conference on the Chagosian question in Pretoria in October 2022 while serving as a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPACT) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and I have described some of the discussions that were facilitated by participants in this essay. Representatives of the Chagosian diaspora, the ambassador of Mauritius to South Africa, scientific interpretations in papers presented, and comments by other Chagosians on the realisation of their rights, constitute the foundation of this report. Diaspora Chagosians are torn between Mauritius’s fight for sovereignty rights and the interests of the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) on the island. They yearn to return to their ancestral land, and regain their identity and attain self-determination. Second, Mauritius fights for justice is understood to mean regaining control of Chagos. The activities and standpoints of the UK and the US, which have allied military interests, were critically examined by academicians and Chagosians. The International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order requesting that the UK return Chagos Island to Mauritius has caused a conflict of interest between Mauritius, the UK, and the US. For the Chagosians, who view self-identity and self-determination as issues of rights under international law that should not be denied, the disregard of the ICJ’s judgment by the global powers would continue to signify statelessness to the majority of the Chagosians.