Mauritius

Map of Mauritius

Provides an overview of Mauritius, including key events and facts about this ethnically diverse Indian Ocean island nation

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Court tells UK to give islands back to Mauritius

A couple stand on a beach on the Chagos Islands, facing out to sea.
BBC

The UN's top court has ruled that Britain must end its administration of the Chagos Islands, as they were not lawfully separated from the UK's former colony of Mauritius in the 1960s.

The International Court of Justice says the territories should be handed over to Mauritius, to allow the decolonisation process to be completed.

The advisory opinion is not binding, but nevertheless carries significant weight.

The Chagos Islands are home to America's Diego Garcia military base. The UK and US have long denied reports that terror suspects have been detained on the site.

The BBC's Andrew Harding says the dispute over the Chagos Islands is being portrayed by some as an indication of Britain's waning influence on the world stage following the Brexit vote. Read more of his analysis here.

Air Mauritius losses criticised

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

Air Mauritius
Air Mauritius/ Twitter

An announcement by Air Mauritius that it had made a loss of $8.6m (£6.7m) in the third quarter has sparked criticism of the company's management team.

The company made a profit of $4.1m during the same period last year.

Many Mauritians have criticised the company's performance.

"When a public company is showing losses year on, with same board and management, this means actual team can't deliver more. Government must sack both board members," Rajendra Purmessur posted on Facebook.

Investment in two new aircraft, increased payroll costs, exchange-rate fluctuations and the price of fuel over the period have been put forward by the airline management to explain the significant financial losses.

In spite of being Africa’s third best airline – behind Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways, according to Skytrax - Air Mauritius has an urgent need to review its flight plan.

Rare pink pigeon hatched by Paignton Zoo bird keeper

Millicent Cooke

BBC News Online

Pink pigeon
Paignton Zoo

A Devon bird keeper has hatched an extremely rare pink pigeon in Mauritius.

Paignton Zoo's senior bird keeper Tom Tooley is working with local conservationists on the island to help bolster the population of the endangered species.

The zoo said Mr Tooley was an expert on pigeons and hand-rearing. On previous visits had trained local staff.

The moment the egg hatched
Paignton Zoo

He said: “Bringing a chick through is satisfying – it’s rewarding. It’s not easy – you need to be patient, precise and very well organised.

“It’s a responsibility – you have to be prepared to put in the hours – early starts, late finishes.”

Court to hear Mauritius-UK islands dispute

Yasine Mohabuth

Port Louis, Mauritius

Map
BBC

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins hearings from Monday into the dispute over the future of the Chagos Islands.

Mauritius claims sovereignty over the British archipelago in the Indian ocean which hosts an important US military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the 60 islands.

The Chagos are at the heart of a five-decade dispute, since the British decision to separate Mauritius from the archipelago in 1965 in exchange for independence.

The archipelago's entire population were evicted to Mauritius when the UK took control and some Chagossians are now hoping they will soon be allowed to return.

In June 2017, the United Nations decided by a vote to ask the ICJ based in the Hague in Netherlands to decide on the future of the Chagos Islands.

Navigating through this wave of sympathy, the leader of the Chagos Refugees Group, Olivier Bancoult, wants judges to come to a solution in favour of Chagossians.

"We are confident that the Judge will provide for a solution to this great injustice against us", Bancoult says.

Read more: Chagos Islands dispute: UK 'threatened' Mauritius