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Mauritius has hailed a decision by the UN postal agency to ban British stamps from being used on the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It marks a further step in the decades-long struggle to get back sovereignty of the islands from the UK.

The vote by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations agency focusing on the mail sector, follows a longstanding dispute between Mauritius and Britain over the Chagos Islands, where London and Washington operate a joint military base.

All stamps from the Chagos Islands must from now on bear stamps from Mauritius.

“This is another big step in favour of the recognition of the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos,” Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said late Wednesday.

Although Mauritius became independent in 1968, the Chagos archipelago remained under British control, sparking protests by Chagossians, who accuse London of carrying out an “illegal occupation” and barring them from their homeland.

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