Statement of Support from Dr Frene Ginwala, former Speaker of the National Assembly
of South Africa
I join with you in your mobilisation of action to end the illegal occupation of the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia, and to facilitate the speedy return of the Chagossians to their island homes.
It is unacceptable that even as many African countries celebrate 50 years of independence, colonial control prevails on the Continent, and the Chagossian people remain dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood.
The continued illegal occupation of the territory violates UN Resolutions of 1960 and 1965, which prohibited colonial powers from dismembering colonial territories prior to granting independence, and the repeated calls of the African Union, most recently at the Summit in Kampala, for the UK Government to end its unlawful occupation.
The initial illegal action of the United Kingdom has been aggravated by the establishment of a US-UK military base on the territory. Current activities at this base, in providing support and service facilities to nuclear submarines are a violation of the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone established by the Pelindaba Treaty.
Illegal actions cannot be justified by the UK Governments cynical use of its new found concern for the environment in order to retain control of the area.
It is incumbent on the international community and civil society to act to end this injustice.
30 October 2010.