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The Guardian - UK could forfeit Security Council seat over Chagos Islands dispute


  In an article in its 5 January edition, The Guardian quotes David Snoxell, former British high commissioner in Mauritius and now co-ordinator of the UK Parliamentary Group on Chagos, saying “UK could forfeit security council seat over Chagos Islands dispute”. In fact Mr. Snoxell made this astounding statement, something of a reality check, in response to the UK both defying the judgment of the International Court of Justice to get out of Chagos (thus completing Mauritius’ decolonization) and showing disdain for the UN General Assembly resolution calling for implementation of this judgment by the 22 November 2019. With all the powers that the Permanent Members of the Security Council have, the minimum that should be expected of them, David Snoxell is quite right, is that they implement a resolution based on an Opinion that they requested from their own Court, the ICJ. All 14 judges on the ICJ, even the one American judge, said that the ICJ was habilitated to statute on the issue. And it was only this one judge who did not go so far as to tell Britain to get out. At the UNGA, Britain and the USA were totally marginalized: only 4 other countries voted with them. Netanyahu’s Israel, Orban’s Hungary, Morrison’s Australia (although their representative at the UN gave a speech that did not seem to support her vote), and Maldives, which has since changed its position. So, Britain is not in good company.  And, as if to underline Britain’s isolation, for the first time in UN history, its judge was not re-elected to the ICJ in November 2019. 

 So, David Snoxell is right in that Britain deserves to lose its Permanent Seat on the Security Council. Here is the link for The Guardian article.

 LALIT is saying that, considering that the UK is refusing to respect the ICJ and the General Assembly precisely because of the USA’s base on one of the Chagos Islands, Diego Garcia, it is time for the Mauritian Government to abandon its position of saying that “the base can stay”. The position is no longer tenable. It was always abject anyway. 

 What with the USA sending 6 more B-52’s to Diego Garcia, preparing to possibly attack Iran from Mauritian territory Diego Garcia in response to the US act of international terrorism of sending a drone to murder the Iranian General Soleimani last week, it is indeed time for Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to change his position. In fact, Iraq has shown the way. As an unintended consequence of the drone assassination of the Iranian General on Iraqi soil, and the simultaneous assassination of an Iraqi military leader, the Iraqi Prime Minister presented a resolution to Parliament and got it passed, to set up a framework for a closure of US bases in Iraq. There is nothing that peoples dislike more than military occupation. And demonstrations in both Iraq and Iran have been gigantic, calling for USA military withdrawal. A resolution like the one prepared for the Iraqi Parliament would be a good place to start in Mauritius.

 You can listen to Ionnews’ Tic au Tac where Lindsey Collen for LALIT and former Foreign Affairs Minister, now Opposition Leader, Arvin Boolell respond to three questions on the Snoxell statement.

Amended by means of precision added at 2:15 pm