Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has branded Britain an illegal colonial occupier after the country failed to meet a UN deadline to hand over an overseas territory to Mauritius, a former British colony in the Indian Ocean, BBC reported.
The country claims it was forced to trade the Chagos Islands in exchange for sovereignty, with the UK purchasing them for £3 million in 1965, when Mauritius was still under British rule.
Earlier this year, the UN general assembly voted by an overwhelming majority of 116-6 in favour of the motion demanding that the islands, Britain's last remaining African territory, be reunited with Mauritius. However, the UK refused to regard the UN motion as binding.
“We have no doubt about our sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory, which has been under continuous British sovereignty since 1814", a Foreign Office spokesperson said adding the African country has “never held sovereignty over the archipelago".
According to the press service, the territory will remain under British control until "it is no longer needed for defence purposes".