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3 imagesThe Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometers off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues and the outer islands. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. The area of the country is 2,040 km². The capital and largest city is Port Louis. 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.