Mauritius' early history is colored by the
interests of the European colonial powers in the Indian
Ocean. French and British colonizers built sugar
plantations and brought with them African slaves and
Indian labor. The mix of nationalities and cultures
still influences the small island nation today.
When Arab and Malay mariners reached the archipelago
in the 15th century, it was uninhabited. During the
1600s, the Dutch tried to colonize the main island,
which was named after the Dutch leader, Prince Maurice
of Orange. During this period, the drone, a large
non-avian bird found only on these islands, was
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Mauritius, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The first permanent settlements were founded by the
French as a step on the main island in 1715. The French
brought with them African slaves and built large sugar
plantations. During the Napoleonic Wars, the British
captured Mauritius in 1810, which then remained under
British control until independence in 1968. Few British
moved to the island, where the French colonists remained
with their slaves. Since the British banned slavery in
the 1830s, the French Mauritians began to import labor
from India into their plantations.
In 1936 Mauritius Workers' Party (MLP)
was founded, which quickly won followers among the
Indian plantation workers. The following year, riots
broke out as they demanded better economic conditions
and increased political influence.
OPR wins election on Rodrigues
Elections are held at Rodrigues where the Organization of Rodrigues People
(OPR) receives almost 60 percent of the vote and 10 out of 17 seats, while the
rest goes to Rodrigues movement. Just over 80 percent of voters vote in the
Change of Prime Minister post
Sir Anerood Jugnauth announces that he will resign as prime minister and only
a day later he is succeeded in the post by his son, Finance Minister Pravind
Jugnauth. The opposition calls for new elections and boycott the ceremony where
the new prime minister takes over government power. Pravind Jugnauth retains
responsibility for the economy and economic development and also takes over
domestic affairs. Anerood Jugnauth now becomes Minister of Defense and also
receives a mentoring role within the government. Ivan Collendavelloo will become
Deputy Prime Minister, but may also take over responsibility for energy and
Success for Mauritius in the Chagos issue
Mauritius wins a vote in the UN General Assembly, when a majority of
countries vote for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to be
able to give advice on how to question the future status of the Chagos Islands.
94 countries support the resolution tabled by Mauritius. Most of the EU
countries cast their votes. The United Kingdom and Mauritius have long had a
dispute over the islands (see Foreign Policy and Defense).
Since 1971, Britain has been leasing one of the eagles, Diego Garcia, to the
United States, which has a military base, there. The British have promised to
return Chagos to Mauritius when the base is no longer needed for strategic
reasons, but have not said when to do so. A group of former islanders have been
fighting for many years to get the right to return to Chagos.