Britain acted illegally when it imposed territorial controls on the Chagos Islands without the consent of Mauritius, a UN judgment claims. The ruling may hinder US operations in Diego Garcia, where it holds an airbase on lease from the British.
The UN ruling also accuses Britain of ignoring the rights of Mauritius – which claims the islands as its own. Declaring the remote Indian Ocean archipelago a marine protected area (MPA) has damaged the fishing industry in surrounding waters, Mauritius claims.
The British Labour government of the time is accused of forcing through the MPA measure to strengthen its hand in the impending election.