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African Union backs Mauritius against UK in dispute over Chagos.

16th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30 to 31 January 2011.

"Decides to support fully the action of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the United Nations General Assembly with a view to enabling Mauritius to exercise its sovereignty over the Archipelago."

Assembly/AU/Res.1(XVI)

RESOLUTION

Recalling that the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, was unlawfully excised by the United Kingdom, the former colonial power, from the territory of Mauritius prior to independence of Mauritius, in violation of UN Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 and 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965 which prohibit colonial powers from dismembering colonial territories prior to granting independence;

Reaffirming that the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, forms an integral part of the territory of the Republic of Mauritius;

Recalling in this regard, inter-alia:

(i) Resolution AHG/Res.99 (XVII) of July 1980 of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU);

(ii) Decision AHG/Dec.159 (XXXVI) of July 2000 of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU);

(iii) Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.331 (XV) of July 2010 of the Assembly of the African Union.

Noting with grave concern that notwithstanding the OAU/AU Resolution/Decisions and the strong opposition expressed by the Republic of Mauritius, the United Kingdom has proceeded to establish a ‘marine protected area’ around the Chagos Archipelago on 01 November 2010, in a manner that was inconsistent with its international legal obligations, thereby further impeding the exercise by the Republic of Mauritius of its sovereignty over the Archipelago;

Noting further that the Government of the Republic of Mauritius has, on 20 December 2010, initiated proceedings against the United Kingdom in relation to the dispute concerning the legality of the purported ‘marine protected area’ as set forth in the Notification of that date, to an Arbitral Tribunal to be constituted under Article 287 and Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea;

Considering that the Government of the Republic of Mauritius is committed to taking other measures to protect its rights under international law relating to its legitimate aspiration to be able to exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago, including action at the United Nations General Assembly:

1. DECIDES to support fully the action of the Government of the Republic of Mauritius at the United Nations General Assembly with a view to enabling Mauritius to exercise its sovereignty over the Archipelago.

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