Chagos Islanders Demand One Billion in Restitution For Lost Fishing Rights
December 18, 2020
British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago) is best known for the secretive US naval base on Diego Garcia Island and the forced deportation of the original Afro-Creole inhabitants from the Chagos Archipelago and subsequent apartheid laws barring them from return.
Despite the United Nations General Assembly, African Union, and International Court of Justice finding that Britain’s deportation of the Chagos Islanders 50 years ago and continued military occupation of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) is a serious violation of international law, the Chagossians are still banned from the territory by apartheid laws and US and British military forces.
The Chagossians have presented the British colonial administration with a demand for 1 Billion (BIOT) Pounds to compensate them for lost fishing rights. The Chagos Archipelago is one of the world’s prime fisheries rich in tuna, shell and game fish. Indigenous fishing rights are recognized by the UN, African Union and many countries with native peoples.
According to Dr. Jonathan Levy, the international lawyer representing the Chagos islanders: “There is no doubt the Chagos Archipelago fishing rights have immense monetary and cultural value and the Chagossians are barred from even entering the territory’s waters. The colonial administration which is constitutionally separate from the United Kingdom, has the power to issue the currency requested and has no excuse for what amounts to continuing theft of indigenous property and rights”
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Pan African Visions | January 20, 2021 7:58 am
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