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African Union Presented the Oral Statement to the International Court Of Justice on the Issue of the CHAGOSARCHIPELAGO

September 06, 2018

African Union Presented the Oral Statement to the International Court Of Justice on the Issue of the CHAGOSARCHIPELAGO

Hague, Netherlands 6th September: International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague held the hearing for advisory opinion on ‘Legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965’ from 3-6 September 2018.In accordance with the Schedule of the Court for the oral hearings, African Union presented its statement on 6th September 2018 as follows:

Amb. Dr. Namira Negm, the Legal Counsel of the African Union presented the introductory statement, while Dr. Mohammed Gomaa presented the reasons why the Court should give its opinionand Professor Makane Mbengue addressed the illegal excision of Chagos from Mauritius in 1965 and its consequences.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, indoorAmb. Dr. Namira indicated in her introductory statement the mandate of the African Union and the role of the Union in establishing African integrity and self determination as stemming from its legal instruments. In addition, she focused on the contribution of African Union to the decision that was made by the United Nations General Assembly for requesting ICJ for an advisory opinion. The African Union team emphasises that the Court has jurisdiction to give an advisory opinion upon the request of the General assembly GA Resolution A/RES/71/292in accordance to the Court Statute. She reiterated that “The African Union calls upon the Court to assume its responsibility, as the supreme body for international justice, to give an answer to the questions of law and to continue its historic legacy in supporting self-determination and decolonization” The AU Legal Counsel added in her closing statement “ It is equally astounding that for the last few days we heard a colonizer and its allies defending colonization, it feels as if the Berlin Conference has no end!”.

Amb.Namira Negm stated that “The United Kingdom has a legal and moral responsibility towards bringing peace and security to the world as a permanent member of the Security Council. So, the best contribution that the United Kingdom can provide to the African continent is to instantly, today, not tomorrow, to free Chagos and acknowledge the right to return of the Chagossians” .

The Legal Counsel of the AU concluded the AU statement by recalling the importance of the advisory opinion and that the United Kingdom(UK) should end its colonisation to the last British colony in Africa. Moreover, she included in her conclusion that the issue of Chagos is a human rights law matter, and further stated that it is an international humanitarian law issue not only a subject of colonization. Amb. Namira finally concluded that “ ….This is a voice to be heard, it is not only the voice of Mrs Elysé or the Chagossians, this is the voice of justice, self-determination…ending colonization…. which should not be forgotten during the Court’s deliberations because it is the voice of a continent that has suffered from colonization, it is the voice of Africa.”

For enquiries, contact:

Tefesehet Sime | Office of the Legal Counsel | African Union Commission | Tel: +251

(0) 913495760 |

Esther Azaa Tankou | Head of Information Division | | African Union Commission | Tel:

(251) 11 551 77 00 | E-mail:

For further information:

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Web Site: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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