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The African Union Legal Counsel Went to The Hague to Submit the First Written Statement prepared by African Union on the Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion

Dates: 
March 04, 2018

The African Union Legal Counsel Went to The Hague to Submit the First Written Statement prepared by African Union on the Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion

Addis Ababa, 4 March 2018 – The African Union Commission (AUC) would like to announce to all Member States the historic submission of the First Written Statement of the African Union to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the advisory Opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.

The African Union Legal Counsel Ambassador Dr. Namira Negm travelled to The Hague, Netherlands from 27 February -3 March 2018 to finalize and submit the First written Statement of the African Union Commission on the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the separation Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.

After the first meeting held in Mauritius in January 2018, the Legal Counsel of the African Union Ambassador Dr. Namira Negm requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that the African Union “(i) be permitted to furnish information, in writing and orally, on the question submitted to the Court for its advisory opinion and (ii) be granted an extension of one month for the filing of its written statement”. Consequently, the court extended the deadline from 30 January 2018 to 1 March 2018. Accordingly, the Legal Counsel Ambassador Dr Namira Negm of the African Union met with the registrar of the International Court of Justice, Mr. Philippe Couvreur and submitted the statement.

The Written Statement submitted by the African Union was prepared by the Legal Team composed of Ambassador Dr. Namira Negm, the Legal Counsel of the African Union, Dr. Mohammed Gomaa and Professor Makane Mbengue. The African Union addressed on the statement, the questions requested by the General Assembly to be advised by the International Court of Justice. One is whether the process of decolonizing Mauritius was lawfully completed, following the separation of the islands, and the second is "consequences under international law ... arising from the continued administration by (Britain) of the Chagos Archipelago, including with respect to the inability of Mauritius to implement a program for the resettlement on the Chagos Archipelago of its nationals, in particular those of Chagossian origin."

As it is of African Union’s profound interest to complete the decolonization process of Mauritius and to see an Africa free from colonization, the Written Statement has incorporated all the AU and OAU Decisions on the matter.

For further information,

For Office of the Legal Counselplease contact:
TefesehetSime
Email: tefesehets@afric-union.org
Tel: +251 (0) 913495760

And
Tsion Demissie
Email: tbheregano@africa-union.org
Tel: +251 (0) 913026667