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Cameron’s Chagos Decision under the Spotlight



Cameron's Chagos Decision under the Spotlight

David Cameron is facing an ultimatum that expires on Monday March 25th regarding the territorial sovereignty of the Chagos Islands.

Alicia Kearns, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that the Chagossians should have the right to return to their homeland.

The issue of Mauritius’ sovereignty and the right of return to the Chagos archipelago remains a current topic.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, who has attempted to fundamentally question the commitment made by former Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, is currently facing an ultimatum.

He has until Monday to decide on the return of the Chagossians to the archipelago.

Alicia Kearns, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, a British parliamentary committee, has expressed support for the resettlement of the Chagossians.

This was conveyed in a formal correspondence to the Foreign Secretary dated March 12th.

This development follows deliberations of the Overseas Territories Sub-Committee on February 28th.

Kearns maintains, unequivocally, that “the Chagossians should have the right to return to their ancestral homeland, regardless of the country administering it.”

The committee has examined the situation regarding the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT)/Chagos Islands, gathering verbal testimonies and meeting with Chagossian communities and individuals to inform their decision-making.

Kearns emphasizes the importance of the Chagossian communities and the need for the British government to improve communication and relations with them, addressing concerns and ensuring the Chagossian support program is administered correctly.

Kearns pushes for the creation of a permanent role within the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) focused on engaging with Chagossian communities in the UK to bridge the gap between the government and these communities and enhance support services.

She points out that roles like this have been established for engaging with other communities, such as the Somali community in the UK, emphasizing the particular nature of the Chagossian community and Britain’s obligations to them.

On the issue of Chagossian resettlement, Kearns argues for strong moral arguments in favor of their return, stating that preventing this perpetuates historical injustices against their people.

She urges the UK government to initiate a pilot resettlement program on a peripheral island in partnership with the Mauritian and American governments and Chagossian groups, with input from the scientific community.

The committee also calls for discussions with the US government on how they can financially contribute to the resettlement process given the benefits they derive from the Diego Garcia base.

Kearns demands more transparency on the Chagossian support program’s spending and implementation, emphasizing the need for effective planning and communication to address the community’s needs.

Kearns recommends Chagossian involvement in environmental protection efforts in the region, stressing that the UK government must ensure their voices are heard in discussions on the region’s future protection.

The committee expects a response from David Cameron before March 25th.

Source: Le Mauricien

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