Mauritius. At least eleven people died in floods caused by sudden and heavy rains in Mauritius capital Port Louis on March 30. According to Countryaah, the masses of cars overturned cars, destroyed buildings and caused havoc in the capital. According to the country’s meteorologists, 152 millimeters of rain fell in less than an hour. It normally rains 220 millimeters throughout March, which is the rainiest month of the year. Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam declared a day’s country grief and said Mauritius is suffering severely from climate change.
In June, the UK’s highest court ruled that the British government’s transformation of the Chagos Islands into the Indian Ocean into a large marine nature reserve follows EU law. Chagos are controlled by Britain, but Mauritius, which has previously administered the islands, claims them. When the British government announced its plans for a nature reserve in 2010, the government of Mauritius protested, and representatives of forced displaced Chagos residents said the project would hamper their opportunities to return to the islands as fishing is banned in the reserve. Fishing was the main supply of the Chagosborne before Britain forced them between 1965 and 1973. The reason was that the United States then built a military base on the archipelago’s largest island, Diego Garcia, which was leased by the United Kingdom. The expulsion of the approximately 2,000 Chagos residents has been described by critics as one of the most disgraceful events in modern British colonial history. Many of the Chagos live today in poverty in Mauritius, while others are refugees in the United Kingdom.
The islanders’ representatives claimed that through the WikiLeaks organization, they had been informed that the nature reserve had been formed in accordance with US wishes to prevent the islanders from moving back to Chagos. The British diplomat who created the reserve according to instructions from then-Foreign Minister David Milliband denied in interrogation with the Supreme Court that this was the case. He said it was only about preserving the environment. Olivier Bancoult, a spokesman for Chagos residents in exile, said he planned to appeal the Supreme Court ruling. The issue may be decided in a UN court. Already in January 2013, the Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague gave the unexpected message that it can raise the issue.