Diego Garcia: Why is Berenger not in New York?

Picture Credit: Extracted from L’Histoire d’un combat – Berenger inspired many in Mauritius to lean towards anti-imperialism

Mauritius could finally get an opportunity to seek redress over the simmering Diego Garcia dispute with the United States and Great Britain at the UN general assembly on June 22nd.

The tiny Indian Ocean republic is expecting a positive vote that will allow it to forward its claims to the International Court of Justice.

The UN will thus debate the Mauritian resolution – one of the firsts if not the very first the country has requested at the UN – falls under item 87 and is on the agenda of the 71st session of the UN general assembly.

The request is to seek the permission of the United Nations to open a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the “legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos (Diego Garcia) from Mauritius in 1965.

The vote takes place on June 22nd.

According to reports, Jugnauth has already been in touch with the officials from 80 countries, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, India and Singapore among others.

These countries have apparently agreed to support the Mauritian initiative.

Yes, that is what Mauritius should do, and we were heads-up in saying in September last year that Mauritius should bring the case to the ICJ.

Now that there is the possibility that it happens, let us narrate yet another page in Mauritius history, which is again linked to the Movement Militant Mauricien (MMM) leader, Paul Berenger!

While we believe Jugnauth is capable of rallying many countries on Mauritius side in this matter, we also think that he should have invited Paul Berenger to join him in this fight for the country’s territorial integrity.

Why Berenger? believes the government of Mauritius should have included the leader of the MMM in the delegation, as he played a historic role in the country’s claims over the illegal nuclear military base in the Indian Ocean.

His presence in New York would have strengthened the case for Mauritius, as it would show a united front with SAJ and Berenger on the same wave-length on the issue.

It is also undeniable that Berenger – as much as SAJ – enjoys excellent relations with several countries that could be influenced to support the Mauritius resolution contesting the excision of Diego Garcia by the British rulers of the country before the independence of Mauritius in 1968.

Indeed, the Mauritian government has the absolute certitude that it will gain the support of a majority of the members of the general assembly of the UN.

A United Nations resolution (called the UN resolution) is a formal text adopted by a United Nations (UN) body.

However, although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice most resolutions are issued by the Security Council or the General Assembly.

And in the case of the Diego Garcia tussle, Mauritius would need all the help it can get – from its own people and from friends outside the country – to get the resolution pass the intense lobbying that it would be subjected to from both the UK and the US.

Furthermore, our sources informed us that New Delhi sees Berenger as a capable spokesperson and lobbyist for Mauritius on the international scene.

Which adds to our view that the opposition leader should have accompanied Jugnauth on the mission.

And we should not downplay the good relationship that SAJ has always had for Berenger.

Nevertheless, it has to be said that it is thanks to Berenger’s extraordinary launch of his political career in Mauritius that has influenced many people on the country’s claims over Diego Garcia, and injected a high dose of anti-imperialism in the country.

Berenger was a lone man, young and vibrant, walking with a banner in his hand which claimed the following:

“We get dollars, Vietnam gets Napalm”

And this was in 1968, the year the country became independent and that was the year the Worldfuture founder decided to join the Labour Party in his spirit, at the age of 8.

It was after listening to bereaved Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam at the last rally of the Labour Party in Port Louis that Kazi Mahmood decided that he will be Labour.

That was how inspiring the speech was.

And that was how inspiring too, was the banner and the action of Berenger to march alone with the police surrounding him menacingly.

He marched against the US, and Worldfuture is an agency that fights against US imperialism and US wars across the globe.

Inspired by men like Berenger!

Thus we find it incomprehensible that someone of the calibre of Mr. Uteem would make try to make claims against Worldfuture for being biased and being funded by Arabs!

No, we are not the people who got cash loads of assistance from bereaved Muammar Gaddafi’s government in the 1970’s, because we are an independent media organisation.

And we represent Mauritius as much as we represent the rest of the world in the eyes of our many followers!

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