The UN’s top court will hear arguments Monday on the future status of the British-ruled Chagos Islands, home to a strategic joint US military base but a territory claimed by Mauritius.
Port Louis is set to open arguments before the International Court of Justice in a case brought by the United Nations over the Indian Ocean archipelago, which has been the centre of a dispute for more than five decades.
In a diplomatic blow to Britain, the UN General Assembly last June adopted a resolution presented by Mauritius and backed by African countries asking the Hague-based ICJ to offer a legal opinion on the island chain’s fate.
The ICJ’s 15 judges will now listen to arguments on the “legal consequences of (Britain’s) separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius” in 1965, shortly before Port Louis’ independence from its colonial ruler.
The African Union and a remarkable number of 22 countries — which also includes the US, Germany and several Asian and Latin American nations — are to make statements during the four-day hearing.