The Mauritian territory covers the mainland Mauritius, Rodrigues and St Brandon.
The Chagos Archipelago was excised from the Mauritian territory by the United Kingdom. It is a group of 7 atolls comprising more than 60 individual islands about 500 km south of the Maldives.
The Chagos was home to the Chagossians for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to set up a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos islands.
Since 1971, the atoll is inhabited. It has only military and civilian contracted personnel.
The dispute over the sovereignty of the Chagos between Mauritius and the UK will be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which will consider the claim of Mauritius that Britain illegally controls the territory.
The UN resolution seeking the opinion of the international court was strongly backed by African and non-aligned nations winning approval on a vote of 94-15 with 65 abstentions (22 EU nations including France, Germany and Italy).
All the generations of Chagossians nurture the dream of returning to their homeland, one day.

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