British Indian Ocean Territory

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Related to Chagos Archipelago: Diego Garcia

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory, archipelago, c.1,180 mi (1,900 km), NE of Mauritius, in the central Indian Ocean. The more than 50 islands, which form the Chagos Archipelago and are located on the southern end of a chain of sea mounts that also includes Lakshadweep and the Maldives, were administered by Mauritius, but they were made a separate dependency by the British in 1965 before Mauritius became (1968) independent. Their importance is primarily strategic; the United States and Britain maintain a major naval facility on the main island, Diego Garcia. Between 1967 and 1973 Britain evicted the Chagos islanders as the archipelago was converted to purely military use; a case brought in 1975 by islanders led to a settlement and compensation in 1982. In 2000, however, islanders secured a British court decision declaring their explusion illegal, but the British government subsequently (2004) prevented their return to the outlying Chagos islands. Islanders again successfully challenged the government in court in 2007, but the government won on appeal the following year (on the basis of the 1982 settlement), and that decision was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in 2012 and the British Supreme Court in 2016. In 2010 the British government established one of the world's largest marine reserves (c.210,000 sq mi/545,000 sq km) in the waters surrounding the islands. The UN General Assembly, at the urging of Mauritius, which has long claimed the islands, in 2017 referred the question of the Chagos Islands' legal status to the International Court of Justice, which ruled (2019) in an advisory opinion that Britain had unlawfully separated the islands from Mauritius and denied the islanders their right to self-determination. The archipelago is also claimed by the Maldives and Seychelles.
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British Indian Ocean Territory

a UK Overseas Territory in the Indian Ocean: consists of the Chagos Archipelago (formerly a dependency of Mauritius) and formerly included (until 1976) Aldabra, Farquhar, and Des Roches, now administratively part of the Seychelles. Diego Garcia is an important US naval base
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Mauritius argued that the Chagos archipelago was part of its territory since at least the 18th century and was taken unlawfully by the United Kingdom in 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence.
Mauritius challenged UK's claim on the Chagos Archipelago, saying that more than 50 years after the country got its independence from the British, and the process of decolonisation had remained incomplete as a part of it is still under its control.
The territory was established in 1965 when around 1,500 inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed, after a deal between the United States and the United Kingdom to establish an American military base at the highest island there, Diego Garcia.
NEW YORK, June 23 (KUNA) -- UN General Assembly adopted a text requesting that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) render an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius before that Indian Ocean island nation's independence in the 1960s.
Reaffirming Mauritius' "unwavering" support to India for UN Security Council membership, Jugnauth also welcomed New Delhi's support to the island nation's claim over the Chagos archipelago. Both the UK and Mauritius have competing claims over the archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
We've all heard of the devastating effects climate change induced sea temperature rise has had on Australia's Great Barrier Reef but unfortunately this is a global problem and the reefs of the Chagos Archipelago have not been spared.
It had been created after the UK Labour prime minister, Harold Wilson bluntly informed the Mauritian chief minister, Dr Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, that his country's independence would be speeded up if the UK retained the Chagos archipelago rather than the remaining part of Mauritius.
Then in 2010, in the case of Chagos, Mauritius brought an UNCLOS proceeding against the United Kingdom over the Chagos Marine Protected Area, requesting, inter alia, that the tribunal determine who--Mauritius or the United Kingdom--had sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago. (62) As UNCLOS does not contain provisions on territorial sovereignty, (63) Mauritius's claim was a non-UNCLOS claim.
Diplomacy and negotiation were also used by Mauritius to convince the United Kingdom to obey an arbitral decision issued on March 18, 2015, regarding the Marine Protected Area around the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Off a small island in the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biogeochemists Konrad Hughen and Colleen Hansel use a special underwater drill to take a core sample from a boulder coral (Pontes lobata) during an expedition in 2015 (top left).
The dispute centered around the Chagos Archipelago,
He recalled how, more than 40 years ago, Britain leased an island in the Chagos archipelago to the US so that the latter could use it as an air base.