Mauritius was visited by Middle Eastern and Malay merchants from around AD 1000 and documented by Portuguese seafarers between 1507 and 1512. In 1598 the Dutch admiral, Van Warwyck, established a settlement and named the island after Prince Maurice of Nassau, the stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland. French forces settled the island in 1722, renamed it Isle de France and brought African slaves to cultivate sugarcane. The British occupied the island in 1810 and it was formally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Following the abolition of slavery in 1835, indentured labourers were transported from India. Independence was attained within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1968. Mauritius became a republic on 12 March 1992.
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