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Chagossians In Seychelles Demand Inclusion In UK-Mauritius Talks

Negotiations between Mauritius and the United Kingdom regarding the Chagos Archipelago are ongoing. Chagossians living in the Seychelles want to be part of it. “We have already sent a letter to the UK asking to be part of the negotiations,” spokesman for the Seychelles Committee of Chagossians, Pierre Prosper, said in a statement to Seychelles News Agency.

Dispute Between The Mauritian Government And The Chagossian Community

They contacted the UK over the dispute between the Mauritian government and the Chagossian community over their exclusion from the negotiations. The letter refers to the fact that Mauritius, which lost the Chagos before gaining independence in 1968 while under colonization by Britain, is now seeking to reclaim the archipelago.

Pierre Prosper indicates that while Mauritius asserts its sovereignty, the Chagossians want to be given priority to return to the islands if they wish. They also want the archipelago to be autonomous, in the same way as eastern Rodrigues, another island that is part of Mauritius.

“If Mauritius does not agree with what we want, we will ask for a referendum to be held so that Chagossians can vote on whether they want to be part of Mauritius or part of the United Kingdom,” added the spokesperson.

An article published this month in the British newspaper The Guardian indicates that legal action has been tried to stop the negotiations, while claiming that the opinion of the Chagossians is being ignored. Bernadette Dugasse, who was born on Diego Garcia, an island now known as British Indian Ocean Territory, is also said to be seeking judicial review of the government’s approach to negotiations.

According to Pierre Prosper, the Chagossians of the Seychelles support this approach. But he says they also want the UK government to pay reparations to all the people who were forced from their homes many years ago.

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