UN demands Britain end rule of Chagos Islands in 6 months

The U.N. General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to demand that Britain end its "colonial administration" of the Chagos Archipelago, which includes the U.S. air base on Diego Garcia. It says Britain should return the islands to Mauritius within six months.

The 193-member world body approved a resolution Wednesday by a vote of 116-6 with 56 abstentions supporting an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice in February that the Indian Ocean island chain be given to Mauritius.

The General Assembly resolution, like the court's ruling, is not legally binding but it does reflect world opinion.

Mauritius' Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Juqnauth told the assembly the court's landmark opinion confirmed that the country's decolonization "will not be completed until Mauritius is able to exercise sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago."