Did the U.S. pressure Mauritius on Diego Garcia?

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A report in the WFTV suggests that Washington interfered in the affairs of Mauritius in an attempt to pressure the Island nation on the Diego Garcia issue.

Did the U.S. use its clout to force the Mauritian President out of office as a form of pressure against the Island on the controversial Diego Garcia issue?

Using the President as bait, the U.S. would have indirectly pressured Port Louis to abandon its moves to reclaim the Diego Garcia territory, says the report.

Mauritius is heading to the International Court of Justice for a hearing on the Chagos Archipelago.

The ICJ is to issue an advisory opinion on whether the UK had lawfully adhered to the process of decolonization when it detached the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in the 1960s.

The action could be viewed as delegitimating the U.S. presence on Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos Archipelago.

And Washington, as well as the Pentagon, are not ready to relinquish their grasp on this nuclear base.

The base is currently under the control of the British but is leased to the U.S.A. while Mauritius is staking its claim on the land.

The U.S.A. has been deepening its defense relations with India and devoting more strategic attention to the Indian Ocean from a security and economic perspective.

Approximately 70 percent of the world’s crude oil and 50 percent of the world’s container traffic moves through the Indian Ocean, reports say.

However, Sources from New Delhi say the Americans, infuriated by Mauritius push for the return of Diego Garcia, played a role in the recent political crisis on the Island.

It divided the Mauritius government – a coalition of three parties – and is pressurising the French in sidelining Mauritius claims on yet another Islet, the Tromelin snatched by Paris.

It is in this move to weaken the Mauritian government that brought the U.S. to play the divide and rule game said WFTV.

According to the source, the U.S. exerted pressure on the Mauritian government to end President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim’s tenure.

The U.S. intentions were directed to the Mauritian Embassy in Washington which was then relayed to Port Louis.

The Mauritian President did not have much chance against the American onslaught.

The attempt was to divert Mauritius attention away from the Diego Garcia issue and to weaken the country’s case.

A divided government – with the ruling Movement Socialist Militant (MSM) and the Movement Liberateur (ML) at odds over the Fakim issue – does not augur well for the country.

Nevertheless, the U.S. move could only happen with support from within.

Pressure mounted internally in Mauritius for Gurib-Fakim to vacate the offices of the Presidency.

Many are saying that internally, the campaign against the President was not an anti-Muslim thing.

But for the U.S., it is different.

Internally, the MSM-ML regime remains divided on the issue.

But there is also a faction within the MSM that was not against the President.

The great divide – caused by Washington’s insistence – was obvious with the Minister Mentor’s Sir Aneerood Jugnauth’s (SAJ) support for Gurib-Fakim.

But SAJ’s son, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, was not in favour of the President remaining in office.

In the meantime, the ML gave full support to the President not to resign.

The President was embroiled in a financial scandal linked to an Angolan businessman against whom the local media pointed a finger for alleged violation of the local offshore financial services.