Normally, this would be thought less serious than, for example, the ruling against China’s claims to the South China sea, except that one of the islands is the US mega-base at Diego Garcia.
The British government expelled all every resident of the island to accommodate the US military, so this could get ugly.
If the British blink, I would expect the Pentagon to continue squatting on the island:
The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal.
Although the majority decision by the international court of justice in The Hague is only advisory, the unambiguous clarity of the judges’ pronouncement is a humiliating blow to Britain’s prestige on the world stage.
The case was referred to the court, which hears legal submissions over international boundary disputes, after an overwhelming vote in 2017 in the UN assembly in the face of fierce opposition from a largely isolated UK.
Delivering judgment, the president of the ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, said the detachment of the Chagos archipelago in 1965 from Mauritius had not been based on a “free and genuine expression of the people concerned”.
“This continued administration constitutes a wrongful act,” he added. “The UK has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos archipelago as rapidly as possible and that all member states must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius.”
The judgment represents a significant defeat for the UK on virtually every point it contested in the hearing last September.
By a majority of 13 to one, the court found that the decolonisation of Mauritius had not been lawfully completed and that it must be completed “as rapidly as possible”. The only judge dissenting from the main opinion was an American.
Of course the only judge dissenting was American. We want that airbase.
That British deported the entire population of the island chain to facilitate this.
It was an immoral theft of these people’s homeland.