The International Court of Justice has ruled that the United Kingdom should hand over the administration of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean to Mauritius in order to legally complete its decolonisation.
The British government ruled Mauritius from 1810 to 1968.But,under an agreement struck in 1965, in return for compensation to Mauritius and fishing rights, Britain has maintained control of the Chagos islands. It has continued to do so despite efforts by Mauritius to regain control, and UN resolutions requiring it to complete the decolonisation of Mauritius.
However, as the matter was referred to the Court by the UN General Assembly, it is not binding to either country but will remain only as an advisory for the UN to use in future.
The UN General Assembly in 2017 had adopted a resolution presented by Mauritius and backed by African countries asking the ICJ to offer legal advice on the island fate and the legality of the deportations.India too supported Mauritius telling the court that a historical survey of facts placed the archipelago as part of Mauritian territory
The Chagos Islands are home to the U.S. military base of Diego Garcia, under lease from the United Kingdom since the 1960s.