Welcome! Slaves were brought from Mozambique and Madagascar to work in the Coconut plantations, which were later established on many of the atolls and isolated islands of the Archipelago. The UK must return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius "as rapidly as possible," the United Nations' highest court ruled recently, branding its occupation of the Indian Ocean archipelago illegal. Chagos Islands: UK refusal to return archipelago to Mauritius show the limits of international law November 26, 2019 11.10am EST Miriam Bak McKenna , Lund University The Chagos islands continued to be administered as a dependency of Mauritius until they were detached to become part of the British Indian Ocean Territory in 1965. The French assumed sovereignty in the late 18th century and began to exploit them for copra, originally employing slave labour. Our History. The Chagos islands were first discovered, uninhabited, in the 16th century. For administrative convenience, and following the French practice, the islands were administered from … The book can be purchased here: YPD Books. Exploration records the first people to settle on the islands in 1776, and the tough struggle to establish a sustainable existence. (1971) Settlement and development of Diego Garcia. The website collects documents, photographs, videos, and other materials and shares them freely online for anyone in the world. All these dependencies continued to be administered from Mauritius until 1903, when the Seychelles group was detached to form a separate Crown Colony. The United Kingdom established the British Indian Ocean Territory in 1965 out of the Chagos Islands, part of Mauritius, and parts of the Seychelles. Near complete records of births and deaths exist in the registers from three atolls in the Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos, and Salomon) for the period 1901-1964. We are people of African, Indian and Malay ancestry who inhabited the Chagos Islands, specifically Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos and the Salomon … The Chagos Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, and forms the British Indian Ocean Territory. Thereafter, the judgements revealed that the Chagossians should never have been sent to Mauritius and as a consequence, all native born Chagossians were granted British nationality in 2002. Ask questions, get answers. The Chagos islands were first discovered, uninhabited, in the 16th century. Britain evicted about 2,000 people from the Chagos Archipelago in the 1960s and 1970s so the U.S. military could build the air base on Diego Garcia. Chagos Archipelago Island History, British acquisition as Indian Ocean British Territory in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius Claim in ICJ . By the end of the 18 th century the population was 300. London: Chagos Conservation Trust. After the British Indian Ocean Territory had been created, the UK Government gave an undertaking to return the Chagos islands to Mauritius when they were no longer required for defence purposes. It provides the definitive history of human discovery and habitation of the Chagos archipelago up to the point of de facto possession by the USA’s military. The islands have been settled for less than 250 years and human activities have been conditioned, both commercially and militarily, from outside. The late 1960’s and early 1970’s, saw an abrupt end to this unique and peaceful way of life. The history of Diego Garcia before the arrival of the US Forces can be found in: Stoddart,D.R. The Chagos Archipelago is a group of six atolls with more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, that lies about 500 km (300 miles) due south of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, and 1600 km (1000 miles) southwest of India, halfway between Africa and Indonesia.Comprising the British Indian Ocean Territory, the entire archipelago is a British overseas territory. “ (a) Was the process of decolonization of Mauritius lawfully completed when Mauritius was granted independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and having regard to international law, including obligations reflected in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965, 2232 (XXI) of 20 December 1966 … Although it includes some of what then happened between 1962 and 1973 when the last Ilois were removed after the detachment of the islands to form the British Indian ocean Territory, the account of this period is very cursory. The entire land area is a mere 56.1 km, with the largest island, Diego Garcia, having an area of 32.5 km2. Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them in the early 1970s in order to allow the United States to build a military base … The Chagossian people evolved their own distinctive Creole language and their own culture. The Chagos Islands are a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean. In 1965 it was separated from Mauritius as part … As well as paying for transport to the U.K, Chagossians also had to pay for the immigration and permanent residency of close family members, including their own children. The Chagos Islands were a part of the French colony of Mauritius which was taken over by the British Empire in 1814. History The Chagos Archipelago is a group of 65 main tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, lying 500km south of the Maldives. For several decades the Chagos archipelago has been the cause of a dispute between Mauritius and the U.K., over the decision in 1965 to separate Diego Garcia from the rest of the archipelago for setting up the military base, in collaboration with the U.S. Mauritius, a British colony, achieved independence in 1968 but the U.K. refused to return the Chagos archipelago, claiming … After emancipation, indentured Indians arrive helping to form a new, unique society and a people first known as the Ilwa. By then, the Indian Ocean and its African, Arabian and Indian coasts had become a centre of rivalry between the Dutch, French and British East India companies for dominance over the spice trade and over the routes to India and the Far East. First inhabitants arrive in Chagos Archipelago as enslaved Africans. The Chagossian people were sent to Mauritius and the Seychelles, where they were dumped on the quays without any plan of resettlement or any such help with integrating into those countries. ; Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~). History 1 It was in 1776 that the first group of people was sent to the Chagos Islands and the settlement was on the Island of Diego Garcia. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. The Archipelago was discovered by the Portuguese in 1512 when Pedro de Mascarenhas undertook a voyage of exploration into the Indian Ocean from 1512 to 1513. Thus for many centuries the Chagos were ignored by their northern neighbours. A major British-U.S. military facility was built on Diego Garcia in 1971, and the plantations there were closed. Under the treaty of Paris in 1814, Britain restored Réunion to France, and France ceded to Britain Mauritius and its dependencies, which comprised Seychelles and various other islands, including the Chagos Archipelago. : Put new text under old text. This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Chagos Archipelago article. The image at the head of the page is an aerial shot of East Point Plantation from the lagoon. After the abolition of slavery in 1835, laborers were brought from India to work in the coconut plantations. This book documents the past history of the Chagos including the first settlement on the islands in 1776 by Franco-Mauritian plantation owners and their slaves, through the change from French rule in 1814 when Mauritius and its dependencies became a British colony, and thence until the 1960s when the plantations and islands were sold to a Seychelles entrepreneur. The population grew, and the outer islands were also settled. The Chagos Archive is an online human rights documentation archive dedicated to documenting the history of the Chagossian people and their exile during the creation of the US military base on Diego Garcia. We are people of African, Indian and Malay ancestry who inhabited the Chagos Islands, specifically Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos and the Salomon island chain, as well as other parts of the Chagos Archipelago situated in the Indian Ocean from the late 18th to the late 20th century. A detailed and authoritative history of Mauritius, Réunion, and the other islands in the southwest Indian Ocean, including the Chagos can be found in: Abraham,G. Geography. Many Chagossians migrated to the U.K at their own expense, to claim their birth right. It is home to an astonishing diversity of life, and acts as a refuge for many threatened species. The U.K government, at the request of the United States, began to expel the Chagossian people from their homeland between 1967 and 1973. Why is the Chagos Archipelago so important? Independence was granted to Mauritius, but only after the Chagos islands were illegally separated from the territory by the British government in November 1965, by an order in council and renamed British Indian Ocean Territories. Between 1967 and 1973, Britain removed the Ilois, or Chagossians—inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago, descended from African slaves and… • Wenban-Smith, N.; Carter, M. (2016). The Chagos Archipelago consists of over 50 small islands in the Indian Ocean. They were often treated as second class citizens, they were left uneducated and resided in slums. This brutal ‘welcome’ has left families divided and penniless, without the skills or resources to integrate well into the U.K. The Chagos Archipelago is made up of 65 coral islands in the Indian Ocean; it lies midway between Africa and Asia, 500 km south of the Maldives. The entire land area of the islands is a … History. Published by The Chagos Conservation Trust 2017. After emancipation, indentured Indians arrive helping to form a new, unique society and a people first known as the Ilwa. The group of islands was named ‘Basas de Chagas’ (‘Chagas’ in Portuguese means ‘Christ’s wounds’). Atoll Research Bulletin 149:209-217, 'Their homecoming is not yet out of reach, not yet out of sight', Competing Claims to the Sea around Chagos, The British High Commissioners Valdedictory 2004, Damage from Military Anchoring in the Lagoon, Arbitral Tribunal under Annex VII of UNCLOS. The fate of an entire defenceless population would be sealed by the U.K. and the US with the complicity of Mauritius. 550 pages. The islands have been British territory since 1814 when they were ceded to Britain with Mauritius (which then included the Seychelles). Various legal challenges and judgements resulted in the Chagossians repeatedly being denied the right to return to their islands. During the Napoleonic wars Britain captured Mauritius and Réunion from the French. It consists of five atolls, including The Great Chagos Bank - … The former parts of the Seychelles are returned to Seychelles in 1976. The book is dedicated to "all those who, from the 1770s to the 1970s, were fated to spend their lives on the islands of Chagos". No Chagossians now inhabit the island, which once was home to … However, there was no welcome for them, no support and yet again, no plan for integration. …Seychelles colony, along with the Chagos Archipelago, formerly part of the Mauritius colony. France, which had already colonised Réunion (called Isle Bourbon) in 1649, claimed Mauritius (Isle de France) in 1721; it subsequently took possession of the Seychelles group and the islands of the Chagos Archipelago. Although, this right only extended to their children if they were born between two arbitrary dates. According to Southern Maldivian oral tradition, local traders and fishermen were occasionally lost at sea and became stranded in one of the islands of the Chagos. Click here to start a new topic. Discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century, it was for most of its history a dependency of Mauritius. The territory doesn't have self-government. In 1814, with the end of the Napoleonic wars, the Chagos along with Mauritius and the Seychelles were ceded to Great Britain through the Paris treaty. ; New to Wikipedia? The Chagos Archipelago (/ ˈ tʃ ɑː ɡ ə s,-ɡ oʊ s /) or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas, [3] and later the Oil Islands) are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. Since the 1980s, successive Mauritian governments have asserted a sovereignty claim to the islands, arguing that they were detached illegally. In 1965, London detached … History of the Chagos Archipelago The history of the Chagos Archipelago has been short and chequered. During the colonial era, the Chagos Archipelago was governed as a dependency of Britain’s Crown Colony of Mauritius. The Chagos Islanders have had few victories in their long battle to return from British-enforced exile to their archipelago homeland in the Indian Ocean. From 1773 to 1810, the importance of the Chagos was greater than that of the island of Rodrigues. The scars of this traumatic experience of living in enforced exile are still visible in our community today. They gradually integrated in the Chagossian society. Because many different forms of life call it home, from the coral reefs to the various species that live on more than 55 islands. East Point Plantation - Manager's House (in 2002). The entire land area is a mere 56.1 km, with the largest island, Diego Garcia, having an area of 32.5 km2. Although this is a long way from the UK, it is still directly relevant to those in the UK. South African Law Journal 128:63-99. The islands of the Chagos Archipelago were uninhabited until the late 18th century, when the French established copra plantations using slave labour in 1793. However, these islands were judged to be too far away from the Maldives to be settled permanently by Maldivians. History. The first successful colony was founded on Diego Garcia in 1793 under the French rule. The Chagos Archipelago (/ ˈ tʃ ɑː ɡ oʊ s / or / ˈ tʃ ɑː ɡ ə s /) or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas, and later the Oil Islands) is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. First inhabitants arrive in Chagos Archipelago as enslaved Africans. Eventually they were rescued and brought back home. (2011) Paradise claimed: disputed sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago. Many of them intermarried with the inhabitants, thus becoming ancestors to some of today’s Chagossians. By the mid twentieth century, there were thriving villages, schools, a hospital and above all, a benign, peaceful and undisturbed way of life that the Chagossian’s had enjoyed for generations on the islands. ISBN 978-0-9954596-0-1. Chagos: A History, Exploration, Exploitation, Expulsion. The settlement of the Chagos It was only during the mid-1780s that the permanent settlement of the Chagos Archipelago began under French … The Chagos Archipelago is made up of 65 coral islands in the Indian Ocean; it lies midway between Africa and Asia, 500 km south of the Maldives. They went on to build one of the most important US military bases outside of the United States. The islands, which are home to US military base Diego Garcia, were separated from the former British territory of Mauritius during decolonization in 1968. The Chagos Archipelago is made up of over 55 islands. 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