Declaration of Grande Riviere on Chagos

The Conference on Diego Garcia & Chagos held at Grande Riviere, Port Louis, Mauritius, bringing together 150 participants from 30 October to 2 November 2010, reached consensus that we will keep the following struggles firmly bound together, never bartering one against the other:

  • the struggle for the complete decolonisation of the Republic of Mauritius, the dismantling of the British Indian Ocean Territories colony, and the re-unification of the country,
  • the struggle for the closing down of the US military base on Diego Garcia, and its ecological clean-up by the US,
  • the struggle for the right of return and full reparations for all Chagossians,

And that to advance these aims, and given that there are some actions that can be set in motion only by the State of Mauritius, we commit ourselves to putting pressure on the Mauritian State towards its acting in practice so as:

  • To organise a formal State visit on the Trochetia ship to Diego Garcia and the whole of Chagos, which is part of Mauritian territory defined as such by the Constitution, and that the State delegation should include the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition;
  • To enter a case in the UN International Court of Justice at the Hague through at once inscribing a resolution to this precise effect on the agenda for the next UN General Assembly due in 2011, and continuing to ensure that the resolution is not later withdrawn from the agenda;
  • To make a formal demand for UN inspections under the Pelindaba Treaty [the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty], as soon as the mechanism for doing so comes into force later this year;
  • To use all other UN bodies and procedures possible for actions that indicate a clear statement of Mauritian sovereignty over Chagos, and that expose the danger the military base represents.

And, at the same time, in the context of the present debate on electoral reform and Constitutional amendment, and in response to imperialist and private capitalist interests clearly targeting Mauritian Islands and land, to work towards giving concrete expression to the Chagossians’ participation in the democratic set-up of the country; and to amend the Constitution so as to outlaw the setting up of any military bases on any Mauritian territory in future;

That we will work towards the setting up of a Scientific Centre that gathers testimony about Chagos, collects documentation on Chagos, so that the history and culture of Chagos are kept alive;

And that, in the context of these demands, we call on the President of the Republic, the last living witness to the pre-Independence negotiations held at Lancaster House to come forward to give public testimony;

And that in order to advance the three causes stated just following the first paragraph above, as well as the specific demands then enumerated in this declaration, we commit ourselves to building up broad support on a national and international level,

And we delegate six people, the undersigned, to present this declaration of Grande Rivière to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also to make the declaration public.

Kishore Mundil
Ragini Kistnasamy
Alain Ah-Vee
Rela Andre
Vishnu Jugdhurry
Lindsey Collen