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New York : Pravind Jugnauth évoque le dossier Chagos et parle de «crime contre l'humanité»

Les Chagos étaient au centre du discours du Premier ministre mauricien lors de l’ouverture de l’Africa Dialogue Series 2019 le mardi 21 mai à New York.

Le thème retenu pour cette année est : «Towards Durable Solutions for Forcibly Displaced Persons in Africa».

Le discours du Premier ministre est intervenu à la veille de la motion du Sénégal en faveur de Maurice; motion qui sera passée au vote par l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies ce mercredi 22 mai. 

Le Sénégal demande aux Britanniques de respecter l'avis consultatif de la Cour internationale de Justice et de rendre l'archipel des Chagos à Maurice dans un délai de six mois.

Lors de son intervention, Pravind Jugnauth a souligné que les «Chagossiens sont victimes d'un déplacement forcé stratégique qui est semblable à un crime contre l'humanité».

«Mon propre pays a beaucoup souffert de l'expulsion forcée d'une partie de sa population et d'une partie de son territoire. Comme la communauté internationale le sait très bien maintenant, à la suite de l’excision illégale de l’archipel des Chagos du territoire mauricien par l’ancienne puissance coloniale en 1965, une tragédie humaine s'est jouée et elle constitue l’un des épisodes les plus honteux de l’histoire moderne», a déclaré Pravind Jugnauth.

Le chef du gouvernement mauricien est d'avis que «l’Afrique a le pouvoir de changer les choses».

Ci-dessous le discours intégral du Premier ministre :

I am greatly honoured to be in your midst for the launch of this year’s Africa Dialogue Series on the theme “Towards Durable Solutions for Forcibly Displaced Persons in Africa”. This is a very important issue which resonates in practically all countries in Africa, given the fact that a third of the world’s forcibly displaced persons are in Africa, and our continent also hosts hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and stateless persons. It is also an opportunity to laud Africa’s impressive tradition of protecting the forcibly displaced through a strong complementary regional refugee, internally displaced persons and human rights legal framework. Indeed, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 1969 Organization of African Unity Refugee Convention.

Excellencies,

When we talk about forcibly displaced persons, we mean people who are forced to move as a result of conflicts, extreme poverty, fear of terrorist violence and abduction, epidemics outbreaks, natural disasters, and the severe impacts of Climate Change illustrated by the recent disastrous tropical cyclones which wreaked havoc on the continent. Africa is indeed where the vagaries of severe weather cause the most damage both in terms of human victims and material damage.

The impact of such volatile migratory movements leaves people vulnerable and in protracted situations where their basic rights and essential economic, social and emotional needs remain unfulfilled. This results in deep psychological scars, acute depression, a sense of isolation and acculturation and at times suicide, when they are able to escape human trafficking. Forcibly displaced persons often find refuge in the poorest and most marginalized regions which frequently lack the adequate infrastructures to deal with the population influx. Often, they are in hard-to-reach areas affected by conflicts and/or disasters where access to water and basic healthcare is problematic, to say the least.

Excellencies,

The magnitude and the complexity of internal and forcible displacement does not appear to have garnered sufficient international attention. My own country has greatly suffered from the forcible eviction of thousands of its population from part of its territory. As the international community is now very well aware, in the wake of the illegal excision by the former colonial power of the Chagos Archipelago from the territory of Mauritius in 1965, a human tragedy, which is one of the most shameful episodes in modern History, unfolded. 

All the Mauritians who were living peacefully at the time in the Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and cruelly uprooted from their homes by the former colonial power, in total disregard of their fundamental human rights and in blatant violation of international law. The Chagossians are victims of a strategic forcible displacement akin to crimes against humanity.

In effect, the former colonial power showed no pity, no mercy nor a basic sense of humanity. Mauritian families were tragically separated, pet dogs and other animals were gassed and burned to death, and death threats were made to force all the inhabitants out. Several died onboard the vessel carrying them. There is testimony of pregnant women onboard who had even lost their unborn child because of dire conditions, and were subsequently unable to conceive again, such was the impact of their forcible displacement. This terrible trauma continues to affect Mauritians of Chagossian origin to this very present day, 50 years after they were uprooted. This cruel displacement by the colonial masters of all the inhabitants from the Chagos Archipelago flouts the very notions of justice and humanity.

Excellencies,

Today, in some countries around the world, the growing wave of refugees and displaced persons often sparks acrimonious discussions on civilizational identity and an outright rejection of other cultures, giving rise to intolerance, xenophobia and violent extremism. As more and more people cross an increasing numbers of interstate borders and maritime zones in search of security, jobs, and a better future, the need to confront, assimilate, or expel foreigners strains political systems and collective identities.

But in Africa, warmly welcoming people from other shores and lands, even with limited means, has always been a key characteristic of African genuine humanity and compassion, our “Ubuntu” tradition. In this context, I would like to warmly salute fellow African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, just to name a few, which work tirelessly to make displaced people and refugees feel at home.

Excellencies,

This Year’s Theme coincides with the growing recognition of the humanitarian and development nexus, and the need for greater collaboration and coherent support for all stakeholders to find solutions to forced displacement in Africa. It is extremely important that we all work hand in hand to ensure a focused sustainable development for the whole African continent which matches the objectives and targets of both Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 for long term peace, security and prosperity.

In this regard, I would like to commend the United Nations Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection and Solutions for Internally Displaced People (2018-2020), which calls on all relevant actors to step up efforts to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement, by essentially addressing the protection needs of the forcibly displaced and seeking solutions to their plight in order to contribute to greater stability for countries and whole regions.

As the UN Secretary-General rightly pointed out earlier this year, Africa has set the gold standard for solidarity. Africa has indeed shown tremendous resolve and resilience in overcoming challenges and obstacles throughout decades and centuries. Hence, we are confident that Africa’s new humanitarian architecture will address root causes and achieve durable solutions.

Excellencies,

Acknowledging our past achievements sends a message of hope and responsibility, encouraging us to make even greater efforts in the future. It is within our power to make things better and to reduce the incidence of suffering even further. Africa shall again succeed in leaving no one behind.

I thank you for your kind attention.

I am greatly honoured to be in your midst for the launch of this year’s Africa Dialogue Series on the theme “Towards Durable Solutions for Forcibly Displaced Persons in Africa”. This is a very important issue which resonates in practically all countries in Africa, given the fact that a third of the world’s forcibly displaced persons are in Africa, and our continent also hosts hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and stateless persons. It is also an opportunity to laud Africa’s impressive tradition of protecting the forcibly displaced through a strong complementary regional refugee, internally displaced persons and human rights legal framework. Indeed, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 1969 Organization of African Unity Refugee Convention.

Excellencies,

When we talk about forcibly displaced persons, we mean people who are forced to move as a result of conflicts, extreme poverty, fear of terrorist violence and abduction, epidemics outbreaks, natural disasters, and the severe impacts of Climate Change illustrated by the recent disastrous tropical cyclones which wreaked havoc on the continent. Africa is indeed where the vagaries of severe weather cause the most damage both in terms of human victims and material damage.

The impact of such volatile migratory movements leaves people vulnerable and in protracted situations where their basic rights and essential economic, social and emotional needs remain unfulfilled. This results in deep psychological scars, acute depression, a sense of isolation and acculturation and at times suicide, when they are able to escape human trafficking. Forcibly displaced persons often find refuge in the poorest and most marginalized regions which frequently lack the adequate infrastructures to deal with the population influx. Often, they are in hard-to-reach areas affected by conflicts and/or disasters where access to water and basic healthcare is problematic, to say the least.

Excellencies,

The magnitude and the complexity of internal and forcible displacement does not appear to have garnered sufficient international attention. My own country has greatly suffered from the forcible eviction of thousands of its population from part of its territory. As the international community is now very well aware, in the wake of the illegal excision by the former colonial power of the Chagos Archipelago from the territory of Mauritius in 1965, a human tragedy, which is one of the most shameful episodes in modern History, unfolded. 

All the Mauritians who were living peacefully at the time in the Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and cruelly uprooted from their homes by the former colonial power, in total disregard of their fundamental human rights and in blatant violation of international law. The Chagossians are victims of a strategic forcible displacement akin to crimes against humanity.

In effect, the former colonial power showed no pity, no mercy nor a basic sense of humanity. Mauritian families were tragically separated, pet dogs and other animals were gassed and burned to death, and death threats were made to force all the inhabitants out. Several died onboard the vessel carrying them. There is testimony of pregnant women onboard who had even lost their unborn child because of dire conditions, and were subsequently unable to conceive again, such was the impact of their forcible displacement. This terrible trauma continues to affect Mauritians of Chagossian origin to this very present day, 50 years after they were uprooted. This cruel displacement by the colonial masters of all the inhabitants from the Chagos Archipelago flouts the very notions of justice and humanity.

Excellencies,

Today, in some countries around the world, the growing wave of refugees and displaced persons often sparks acrimonious discussions on civilizational identity and an outright rejection of other cultures, giving rise to intolerance, xenophobia and violent extremism. As more and more people cross an increasing numbers of interstate borders and maritime zones in search of security, jobs, and a better future, the need to confront, assimilate, or expel foreigners strains political systems and collective identities.

But in Africa, warmly welcoming people from other shores and lands, even with limited means, has always been a key characteristic of African genuine humanity and compassion, our “Ubuntu” tradition. In this context, I would like to warmly salute fellow African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, just to name a few, which work tirelessly to make displaced people and refugees feel at home.

Excellencies,

This Year’s Theme coincides with the growing recognition of the humanitarian and development nexus, and the need for greater collaboration and coherent support for all stakeholders to find solutions to forced displacement in Africa. It is extremely important that we all work hand in hand to ensure a focused sustainable development for the whole African continent which matches the objectives and targets of both Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 for long term peace, security and prosperity.

In this regard, I would like to commend the United Nations Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection and Solutions for Internally Displaced People (2018-2020), which calls on all relevant actors to step up efforts to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement, by essentially addressing the protection needs of the forcibly displaced and seeking solutions to their plight in order to contribute to greater stability for countries and whole regions.

As the UN Secretary-General rightly pointed out earlier this year, Africa has set the gold standard for solidarity. Africa has indeed shown tremendous resolve and resilience in overcoming challenges and obstacles throughout decades and centuries. Hence, we are confident that Africa’s new humanitarian architecture will address root causes and achieve durable solutions.

Excellencies,

Acknowledging our past achievements sends a message of hope and responsibility, encouraging us to make even greater efforts in the future. It is within our power to make things better and to reduce the incidence of suffering even further. Africa shall again succeed in leaving no one behind.

I thank you for your kind attention.

 

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