On Monday, the UK’s claim of sovereignty over the remote Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was ruled illegal by the UN’s highest court, which told Britain to hand them back as soon as possible. Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, it represents a significant defeat for the UK.
Decades of forced exile have dispersed Chagossian communities around the world. Most live in the UK, Mauritius or the Seychelles. None have been allowed to return. Monday’s judgment by the ICJ has raised their hopes that they may eventually be able to reclaim their homes.
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