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Flag of Mauritius.svg

Mauritius (/məˈrɪʃ(i)əs, mɔː-/ (About this soundlisten); French: Maurice), officially the Republic of Mauritius (French: République de Maurice), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, 560 kilometres (350 mi) east of Mauritius, and the outer islands of Agaléga and St. Brandon. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, an overseas department and region of France. The area of the country is 2,040 km2 (790 sq mi). The capital and largest city is Port Louis. The island is widely known as the only known home of the dodo, which, along with several other avian species, was made extinct by human activities relatively shortly after the island's settlement.

Formerly a Dutch colony (1638–1710) and a French colony (1715–1810), Mauritius became a British colonial possession in 1810 and remained so until 1968, the year in which it attained independence. The British Crown colony of Mauritius once included the current territories of Mauritius, Rodrigues, the outer islands of Agaléga, St. Brandon, Chagos Archipelago, and Seychelles. The Mauritian territories gradually devolved with the creation of a separate colony of Seychelles in 1903 and the excision of the Chagos Archipelago in 1965. The sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between Mauritius and the United Kingdom. The UK excised the archipelago from Mauritian territory in 1965, three years prior to Mauritian independence. The UK gradually depopulated the archipelago's local population and leased its biggest island, Diego Garcia, to the United States. Access to the Chagos Archipelago is prohibited to casual tourists, the media, and its former inhabitants. Mauritius also claims sovereignty over Tromelin Island from France.

Selected article

Cyclone Hollanda

Cyclone Hollanda was the worst tropical cyclone in Mauritius in 19 years. It formed on February 6, 1994, in the central Indian Ocean in the southern hemisphere. The cyclone moved southwestward for much of its duration, striking Mauritius on February 10 at peak intensity with winds of 155 km/h (100 mph). It later passed just southeast of Réunion before turning to the south and weakening. The cyclone became extratropical on February 14 in the southern Indian Ocean.

On Mauritius, Hollanda destroyed or severely damaged 450 houses, which left at least 1,500 people homeless. High winds left half of the island without power, and also caused severe crop damage; nearly half of the island's sugar crop was destroyed, which necessitated for the government to assist in replanting efforts. Hollanda killed 2 people and caused $135 million in damage on Mauritius. About a week after the cyclone struck, Cyclone Ivy also affected the area, although to a lesser degree. The highest rainfall from the cyclone fell on Réunion, with 741 mm (29.2 in) recorded at Grand Coude.

Selected image

Myripristis pralinia.jpg
Credit: Hans Hillewaert
Big eye soldierfish (Myripristis pralinia) off the resort of Trou aux Biches, Mauritius.

In the news

Wikinews Mauritius portal
  • September 7: UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries
  • July 2: United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning



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Selected biography

Anerood jugnauth n bush.jpg

Sir Anerood Jugnauth (अनिरुद्ध जगन्नाथ), KCMG, QC, GCSK, PC, LLB, GOLH, GOP, ORS (born 29 March 1930) is the President of Mauritius.

He served as prime minister from 1982 to 1995 in four consecutive terms and then was voted out of office from 1995 to 2000. He was the prime minister who held the office for the longest run, one of 16 years, overtaking Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, who held the office for 14 years. As leader of the Militant Socialist Movement, he became prime minister again, after the 2000 elections, for his fifth term. His alliance partner, Paul Bérenger of the Mauritian Militant Movement, succeeded him in 2003 after serving as Jugnauth's deputy for three years. Jugnauth was then elected president in 2003. He was a Member of Parliament for 35 years, from 1963 to 1995 and from 2000 to 2003.

He was called to the Bar by The Honourable Lincoln's inn of Courts. He was a cabinet minister during the leadership of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam from 1965 up to 1969. In 1970, he moved out and went to the newly created political party of the Mauritian Militant Movement, where he eventually became its leader in 1982.

Did you know ...

Jacques-Désiré Laval

Selected panorama

Beach in Mauritius
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

A panorama of a beach in Mauritius.

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Topics in Mauritius

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