UN Spoils British Marine Reserve
While most of the news from the UK is about Nigel being hit by milkshakes and Theresa May being reduced to tears by tories, it turns out the Brits are involved in another fight for sovereignty. Yesterday, the United Nations reminded the world of the Chagos Islands and that they’re being occupied by the British – Global Britain, for friends.
The story goes that when Britain gave Mauritius independence, they decided to separate the archipelago from Mauritius and kindly asked the local population to sod off. After the native population was spread between Mauritius and the Seychelles, the Brits let the US build a military base to keep the world safe from harm.
Ever since the separation from Mauritius and the expulsion of the Chagossians, there have been numerous attempts to relocate the local population and reunify the islands with Mauritius. But, the British aren’t daft, so they came up with a plan; to turn the islands into a Marine reserve. A 2009 report by Wikileaks showed that by doing so, the Brits thought “the BIOT’s former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve.” – this because letting a few hundred barefoot Chagossians live off the land would be devastating to the flora and fauna, whereas the couple thousand soldiers are vegans and nuclear submarines at the military base are hybrids. Goes to show what it takes for the Brits to take action on the environment.
In 2016, the UK made it clear the Chagossians would not be ‘taking back control’, nor that the British/American migrants would be leaving anytime soon. However, the Brits aren’t as cold hearted as you might think, as they did organise five ‘heritage visits’ to allow 76 Chagossians to spend a week on the islands.
But, like always, the United Nations was there to spoil the party by tabling a motion to condemn the occupation. After extensive lobbying by the Brits and the Americans, the UN voted 116-6 against the occupation. Among the opposing nations were Israel, the US and Australia, all of whom of course experienced with illegal occupations and removing indigenous populations. The only EU countries in support of the UK was Hungary, which shows that the EU doesn’t do leaving gifts.
Despite the overwhelming defeat, the UK stands by the need to occupy and has said the British territory “helps to keep people in Britain and around the world safe from terrorism, organised crime and piracy,”. They also said they’re disappointed this was referred to the ICJ because “The basic principle that the ICJ should not consider bilateral sovereignty disputes without the consent of both states concerned”. This because courts work best when a case needs consent from the accuser and the accused, naturally.
The motion also received a large number of abstentions, such as by The Netherlands, Germany, France, Canada and Italy – which is said to be because the vote sets a precedent for those who are still looking to claim a remote island. Seems far fetched, perhaps they just wanted Britain to be sovereign and make its own laws.