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The British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (BIOT) is a British overseas territory of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
situated in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
halfway between Tanzania
Tanzania
and Indonesia. The territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
with over 1,000 individual islands – many very small – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi).[6] The largest and most southerly island is Diego Garcia, 27 km2 (10 sq mi), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States. The only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors, who collectively number around 2,500 (2012 figures).[4] The removal of Chagossians
Chagossians
from the Chagos Archipelago occurred between 1968 and 1973. The Chagossians, then numbering about 2,000 people, were expelled by the British government to Mauritius
Mauritius
and Seychelles
Seychelles
to allow the United States
United States
to build a military base there. Today, the exiled Chagossians
Chagossians
are still trying to return, arguing that the forced expulsion and dispossession was illegal.[9][10] The islands are off-limits to Chagossians, casual tourists, and the media. Mauritius
Mauritius
has sought to gain control over the Chagos Archipelago, which was separated from its territory by the UK in 1965 to form the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory On 23 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
(UNGA) voted in favour of referring the territorial dispute between Mauritius
Mauritius
and the UK to the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
(ICJ) in order to clarify the legal status of the Chagos Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The motion was approved by a majority vote with 94 voting for and 15 against.[11][12] The British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory is one of only two British territories where traffic drives on the right, the other being Gibraltar.

Contents

1 History 2 Forced depopulation 3 Government, politics and law

3.1 Government 3.2 Politics and law

4 Geography 5 Conservation 6 Demographics 7 Economy 8 Communications 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

History[edit] Maldivian mariners knew the Chagos Islands well.[13] In Maldivian lore, they are known as Fōlhavahi or Hollhavai (the latter name in the closer Southern Maldives). According to Southern Maldivian oral tradition, traders and fishermen were occasionally lost at sea and got stranded on one of the islands of the Chagos. Eventually they were rescued and brought back home. However, these islands were judged to be too far away from the seat of the Maldivian crown to be settled permanently by them. Thus, for many centuries the Chagos were ignored by their northern neighbours. The islands of Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
were charted by Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
in the early sixteenth century, then claimed in the eighteenth century by France
France
as a possession of Mauritius. They were first settled in the 18th century by African slaves and Indian contractors brought by Franco-Mauritians to found coconut plantations.[14] In 1810, Mauritius was captured by the United Kingdom, and France
France
ceded the territory in the Treaty of Paris. In 1965, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
split the Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
from Mauritius
Mauritius
and the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches
Desroches
(Des Roches) from the Seychelles
Seychelles
to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. The purpose was to allow the construction of military facilities for the mutual benefit of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States. The islands were formally established as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on 8 November 1965.[15] On 23 June 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches
Desroches
were returned to Seychelles
Seychelles
as a result of its attaining independence. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. In 1990, the first BIOT flag was unfurled. This flag, which also contains the Union Jack, has depictions of the Indian Ocean, where the islands are located, in the form of white and blue wavy lines and also a palm tree rising above the British crown.[16] Forced depopulation[edit] Main article: Depopulation of Diego Garcia

British diplomatic cable signed by D.A. Greenhill, 1966, relating to the depopulation of the Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
stating "Unfortunately along with the birds go some few Tarzans or Men Fridays."

In 1966, the British government purchased the privately owned copra plantations and closed them. Over the next five years, the British authorities forcibly and clandestinely removed the entire population of about 2,000 people, known as Chagossians
Chagossians
(or Ilois), from Diego Garcia and two other Chagos atolls, Peros Banhos
Peros Banhos
and Salomon Islands, to Mauritius.[17] In 1971, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States signed a treaty, leasing the island of Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
to the US military for the purposes of building a large air and naval base on the island. The deal was important to the UK government, as the United States granted it a substantial discount on the purchase of Polaris nuclear missiles in return for the use of the islands as a base.[18] The strategic location of the island was also significant at the centre of the Indian Ocean, and to counter any Soviet threat in the region.

View of Diego Garcia, showing military base.

Work on the military base commenced in 1971, with a large airbase with several long range runways constructed, as well as a harbour suitable for large naval vessels. Although classed as a joint UK/US base, in practice it is primarily staffed by the US military, although the British maintain a garrison at all times, and Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
long range patrol aircraft are deployed there. The United States
United States
Air Force used the base during the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
and the 2001 war in Afghanistan, as well as the 2003 Iraq
Iraq
War. During the 1980s,[year needed] Mauritius
Mauritius
asserted a claim to sovereignty for the territory, citing the 1965 separation as illegal under international law, despite their apparent agreement at the time. The UK does not recognise Mauritius's claim, but has agreed to cede the territory to Mauritius
Mauritius
when it is no longer required for defence purposes.[19] The Seychelles
Seychelles
also made a sovereignty claim on the islands.[20][when?] The islanders, who now reside in Mauritius
Mauritius
and the Seychelles, have continually asserted their right to return to Diego Garcia, winning important legal victories in the English High Court in 2000, 2006 and 2007. However, in the High Court and Court of Appeal in 2003 and 2004, the islanders' application for further compensation on top of the £14.5 million value package of compensation they had already received was dismissed by the court.[citation needed] On 11 May 2006, the High Court ruled that a 2004 Order in Council preventing the Chagossians' resettlement of the islands was unlawful, and consequently that the Chagossians
Chagossians
were entitled to return to the outer islands of the Chagos Archipelago.[21] On 23 May 2007, this was confirmed by the Court of Appeal.[22] In a visit sponsored by the British government, the islanders visited Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
and other islands on 3 April 2006 for humanitarian purposes, including the tending of the graves of their ancestors.[23] On 22 October 2008, the British government won an appeal to the House of Lords regarding the royal prerogative used to continue excluding the Chagossians
Chagossians
from their homeland.[24][25] According to a WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks
disclosure document,[26] in a calculated move in 2009 to prevent re-settlement of the BIOT by native Chagossians, the UK proposed that the BIOT become a "marine reserve" with the aim of preventing the former inhabitants from returning to their lands. The summary of the diplomatic cable is as follows:

HMG would like to establish a "marine park" or "reserve" providing comprehensive environmental protection to the reefs and waters of the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (BIOT), a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Polcouns on 12 May. The official insisted that the establishment of a marine park – the world's largest – would in no way impinge on USG use of the BIOT, including Diego Garcia, for military purposes. He agreed that the UK and U.S. should carefully negotiate the details of the marine reserve to assure that U.S. interests were safeguarded and the strategic value of BIOT was upheld. He said that the BIOT’s former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
were a marine reserve.

The UK government established a marine reserve in April 2010 to mixed reactions from Chagossians. While the UK Foreign Office claimed that it was an environmental move as well as a necessary move to improve the coral populations off east Africa
Africa
and therefore sub-saharan marine supplies, some Chagossians
Chagossians
claimed that the reserve would prevent any resettlement due to the inability to fish in protected areas. The Chagossian UK-based Diego Garcian Society stated that it welcomed the marine reserve, noting that it was in the interest of Chagossians
Chagossians
to have the area protected while they were exiled and that it could be renegotiated upon resettlement. The Foreign Office claimed the reserve was made "without prejudice to the outcome of the current, pending proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights".[27] On 1 December 2010, a leaked US Embassy London
US Embassy London
diplomatic cable exposed British and US communications in creating the marine nature reserve. The cable relays exchanges between US Political Counselor Richard Mills and British Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Colin Roberts, in which Roberts "asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago's former residents."[28] Richard Mills concludes: "Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT."[28] The cable (reference ID "09LONDON1156") was classified as confidential and "no foreigners", and leaked as part of the Cablegate
Cablegate
cache. Government, politics and law[edit]

View of East Point, Diego Garcia, from the air.

Main article: Government of the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Government[edit]

Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
is the head of state of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

As a territory of the United Kingdom, the head of state is Elizabeth II. There is no governor appointed to represent the Queen on the territory, as there are no longer any native inhabitants. The head of government is the commissioner, currently Ben Merrick (since August 2017, replacing John Kittmer), and administrator John McManus (since April 2011,[3] replacing Joanne Yeadon), all of whom reside in the United Kingdom. The commissioner's representative in the territory is the officer commanding the detachment of British forces. Politics and law[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Constitution Order 2004

The laws of the territory are based on the constitution, set out in the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (Constitution) Order 2004,[29] which gives the Commissioner full powers to make laws for the territory.[3][30] If the Commissioner has not made a law on a particular topic then, in most circumstances, the laws that apply in the BIOT are the same as those that apply in England
England
under the terms of the Courts Ordinance 1983.[31] As almost all residents of the BIOT are members of the United States
United States
military, however, in practice crimes are more commonly charged under United States
United States
military law. Applicable treaties between the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States govern the use of the military base. The United States
United States
is required to ask permission of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to use the base for offensive military action.

Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory

The British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory prior to the Seychelles's independence in 1976. The land at bottom left is the northern tip of Madagascar. ( Desroches
Desroches
is not labelled, but is a part of the Amirante Islands.)

Map of the British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory since 1976.

The territory is an archipelago of 55 islands,[3] the largest being Diego Garcia, accounting for almost half of the total land area of the territory, which is 60 km². The terrain is flat and low, with most areas not exceeding 2 metres above sea level. The climate is tropical marine; hot, humid, and moderated by trade winds.[32] In 2010 545,000 square kilometres (210,426 sq mi) of ocean around the islands was declared a marine reserve.[27] With the exception of one two-lane motorway, most of the islands in the territory have no roads of any sort.[32] Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
has a short stretch of paved road between the port and airfield; otherwise transport is mostly by bicycle.[6][32] Diego Garcia's military base is home to the territory's only airport. At 3000 metres long, it is capable of supporting heavy USAF
USAF
bombers such as the B-52
B-52
and would have been able to support the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
in the event of a mission abort.[33] It also has a major seaport. There is also a marina bus service along the main road of the island.[34] The island had many wagonways, which were donkey-hauled narrow gauge railroads for the transport of coconut carts. These are no longer in use and have deteriorated.[35] Conservation[edit] On 1 April 2010, the Chagos Marine Protected Area (MPA) was declared to cover the waters around the Chagos Archipelago. However Mauritius objected stating this was contrary to its legal rights, and on 18 March 2015 the Permanent Court of Arbitration
Permanent Court of Arbitration
ruled that the Chagos Marine Protected Area was illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as Mauritius
Mauritius
had legally binding rights to fish in the waters surrounding the Chagos Archipelago, to an eventual return of the Chagos Archipelago, and to the preservation of any minerals or oil discovered in or near the Chagos Archipelago
Chagos Archipelago
prior to its return.[36][37] The MPA's declaration doubled the total area of environmental no take zones worldwide. The benefits of protecting this area:

Provides an environmental benchmark for other areas. Unlike the rest of the world, the BIOT has been relatively untouched by man's actions. Providing a natural laboratory to help understand climate change. Opportunity for research related to marine science, biodiversity, and climate change. Acting as a reserve for species in danger in other areas. Providing an export of surplus juveniles, larvae, seeds, and spores to help with output in neighbouring areas.[38]

The area had already been declared an Environmental (Preservation and Protection) Zone, but since the establishment of the MPA, fishing is no longer permitted in the area. MV Pacific Marlin The BIOT Patrol Vessel the MV Pacific Marlin is based in Diego Garcia. It is presently operated by the Swire Pacific
Swire Pacific
Offshore Group under a 4-year contract with the BIOT Administration, which was renewed on 1 January 2011. The MV Pacific Marlin patrols the marine reserve all year, and since the marine reserve was designated in April 2010, the number of apprehensions of illegal vessels within the area has increased. The Pacific Marlin was built in 1978 as an oceangoing tug. It is 57.7 metres long with a draft of 3.8 metres and gross tonnage 1,200. It has a maximum speed of 12.5 knots with an economic speed of 11 knots, permitting a range of about 18,000 nautical miles and fuel endurance of 68 days. It is the oldest vessel in the Swire fleet.[39][40] Demographics[edit] The total population was reported at 4,000 in 2006, of whom 2,200 were American military personnel or contractors, 1,400 were Filipino contract workers, 300 were Mauritian contract workers, and 100 were members of the British Armed Forces.[2] It is believed the population has significantly decreased since the end of US bombing operations from the island in August 2006. Economy[edit] All economic activity is concentrated on Diego Garcia, where joint Anglo-American defence facilities are located. Approximately 2,000 native inhabitants, known as the Chagossians
Chagossians
or Ilois, were forcibly relocated to Mauritius
Mauritius
before construction of these facilities; in 1995, there were approximately 1,700 UK and US military personnel and 1,500 civilian contractors living on the island. Construction projects and various services needed to support the military installations are carried out by military and contract employees from Britain, Mauritius, the Philippines, and the US. There are no industrial or agricultural activities on the islands. Until the creation of the marine sanctuary, the licensing of commercial fishing provided an annual income of about $1 million for the territory.[41] Communications[edit]

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Postage stamps have been issued for British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory since 17 January 1968. As the territory was originally part of Mauritius
Mauritius
and the Seychelles, these stamps were denominated in rupees until 1992. However, after that date they were issued in denominations of British Pounds, the official currency of the territory. Separate telephone facilities for military and public needs are available, providing all standard commercial telephone services, including connection to the Internet. International telephone service is carried via satellite. Cable & Wireless started operating in 1982 under licence from the British Government
British Government
to provide international public telecommunications services on the island of Diego Garcia. In April 2013, the company was acquired by the Batelco
Batelco
Group, a telecommunications provider that now operates in 16 markets spanning the Middle East & Northern Africa, Europe, the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. As of 19 August 2013 Cable & Wireless (Diego Garcia) Limited changed name to Sure (Diego Garcia) Limited. Sure International is the corporate division of the business, Services offered include international telephone, broadband internet and WiFi, GSM mobile, paging services and TV rebroadcast services. Telephone and internet services are also offered to maritime customers as well as an extensive portfolio of services to business and Government customers. The territory has three FM radio broadcast stations provided by American Forces Network
American Forces Network
and British Forces Broadcasting Service. Due to its geographic location in proximity to the equator with unobstructed views to the horizon, Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
has access to a relatively large number of geosynchronous satellites over the Indian and eastern Atlantic Oceans, and the island is home to Diego Garcia Station (DGS), a remote tracking station making up part of the Air Force Satellite Control Network. Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
Station has two sides to provide enhanced tracking capabilities for AFSCN users. Amateur radio
Amateur radio
operations occur from Diego Garcia, using the British callsign prefix VQ9. An amateur club station, VQ9X, was sponsored by the US Navy for use by operators both licensed in their home country and possessing a VQ9 callsign issued by the local British Indian Ocean Territory representative.[42] However, the US Navy closed the station in early 2013, hence any future licensed amateurs wishing to operate from the island will have to provide their own antenna and radio equipment.[43] See also[edit]

Wenban-Smith, N. and Carter, M., Chagos: A History, Exploration, Exploitation, Expulsion Published by Chagos Conservation Trust, London (2016), ISBN 978-0-9954596-0-1

Geography portal Asia
Asia
portal South Asia
Asia
portal United Kingdom
United Kingdom
portal

Index of United Kingdom-related articles

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
– book British Overseas Territories List of island countries and territories in the Indian Ocean Ile Takamaka

References[edit]

^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory - Heraldry of the World". www.ngw.nl. Retrieved 16 March 2018.  ^ a b "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory". worldstatesman.com. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ a b c d British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (British Overseas Territory), Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 34 September 2017. ^ a b "The Overseas Territories – Security, Success and Sustainability" (PDF). UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 27 October 2016.  ^ "FCO country profile". Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-27. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ a b c "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Currency". GreenwichMeantime.com. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ Pobjoy Mint Ltd (17 May 2009). "Launch of First Commemorative British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Coin". coinnews.net. Retrieved 4 April 2014.  ^ " Mauritius
Mauritius
profile". BBC World. 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2012.  ^ "Historical Background – What Happened to the Chagos Archipelago?". chagosinternational.org. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2012.  ^ Sengupta, Somini (22 June 2017). "U.N. Asks International Court to Weigh In on Britain- Mauritius
Mauritius
Dispute". The New York Times.  ^ "Chagos legal status sent to international court by UN". BBC News. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.  ^ Xavier Romero-Frias
Xavier Romero-Frias
(1999). "1 A Seafaring Nation". The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom. Barcelona: Nova Ethnographia Indica. p. 19. ISBN 84-7254-801-5.  ^ Vine, David (17 April 2008). "Introducing the other Guantanamo". Asia
Asia
Times. atimes.com. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ United States
United States
Dept. of State. Office of the Geographer (1968). Commonwealth of Nations. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 15. Retrieved 7 November 2013.  ^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory". WorldAtlas.com. Retrieved 23 June 2013.  ^ Baker, Luke (25 May 2007). "The coral sea vista opened up by British judges". Reuters. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ Knapton, Sarah (21 October 2008). "Law Lords to rule on whether Chagos Islanders can finally return home". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ Foreign Affairs Committee (6 July 2008). "Seventh Report – Overseas Territories". House of Commons: 125. Retrieved 6 August 2009.  ^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  ^ The Queen on the application of Louis Olivier Bancoult v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 1038 (Admin) (2006 reporter=EWHC). ^ Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs v The Queen (on the application of Bancoult), EWCA Civ 498 (2007). ^ Reynolds, Paul (3 April 2006). "Paradise regained – for a few days". BBC News. Retrieved 27 April 2010.  ^ "Britain wins appeal over Chagos islanders' return home". Google. Agence France-Press. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ R (on the application of Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, UKHL 61 (2008). ^ "HMG Floats Proposal for Marine Reserve Covering Chagos Archipeligo (British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory)". The Daily Telegraph. telegraph.co.uk. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ a b "UK sets up Chagos Islands marine reserve". BBC News. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2011.  ^ a b "Cable 09LONDON1156_a". Wikileaks. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2015.  ^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (Constitution) Order 2004 – a Freedom of Information request to Privy Council Office". whatdotheyknow.com. 9 November 2012.  ^ Cormacain, R. "Prerogative legislation as the paradigm of bad law-making: the Chagos Islands" (2013) 39 Commonwealth Law Bulletin 487. ^ British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Ordinance No 3 of the 1983 ("the Courts Ordinance"), Article 3.1. ^ a b c "HA08, British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (BIOT) Chagos Archipelago, United Kingdom". Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ John Pike (20 July 2007). " Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
Landing Sites". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ "On the Chop's Visit to Diego Garcia". thebaltimorechop.com. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2013.  ^ Morris, Ted. " Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
– The Plantation". zianet.com.  ^ Owen Bowcott, Sam Jones (19 March 2015). "UN ruling raises hope of return for exiled Chagos islanders". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2015.  ^ " Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration ( Mauritius
Mauritius
v. United Kingdom) (Press Release and Summary of Award)". Permanent Court of Arbitration. 19 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.  ^ North Sea Marine Cluster (2012). "Managing Marine Protected Areas" (PDF). NSMC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.  ^ "Patrol Vessel". The Chagos Archipelago. Richard Dunne. Retrieved 29 March 2015.  ^ Cahal Milmo (28 March 2014). "Exclusive: British Government
British Government
under fire for pollution of pristine lagoon". The Independent. Retrieved 29 March 2015.  ^ "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territories". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 21 June 2004. col. 1219W.  ^ Arneson, Larry (VQ9LA). "VQ9X Club Station". QSL.NET. Retrieved 20 September 2013.  ^ Arneson, Larry (VQ9LA). "(Post of) May 24, 2013". Official VQ9X Facebook page. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory.

Look up British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory.

Official website British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory on UK government site The Chagos Conservation Trust – A non-political charity whose aims are to promote conservation, scientific and historical research, and to advance education concerning the archipelago. Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
Online: Information for the Diego Garcia, BIOT population UK Foreign Office- profile "British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.  Diego Garcia, timeline posted at the History Commons. Christian Nauvel, "A Return from Exile in Sight? The Chagossians
Chagossians
and their Struggle" (2006) 5 Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 96–126 (retrieved 9 May 2011). EU Relations with British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory Chagos Islands (B.I.O.T.) at Britlink – British Islands & Territories http://www.letusreturnusa.org/

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17th century and before 18th century 19th and 20th century

1579 New Albion 1583–1907 Newfoundland 1605–1979 *Saint Lucia 1607–1776 Virginia Since 1619 Bermuda 1620–1691 Plymouth 1623–1883 Saint Kitts 1624–1966 *Barbados 1625–1650 Saint Croix 1627–1979 *Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1628–1883 Nevis 1629–1691 Massachusetts Bay 1632–1776 Maryland since 1632 Montserrat 1632–1860 Antigua 1635–1644 Saybrook 1636–1776 Connecticut 1636–1776 Rhode Island 1637–1662 New Haven

1643–1860 Bay Islands Since 1650 Anguilla 1655–1850 Mosquito Coast 1655–1962 *Jamaica 1663–1712 Carolina 1664–1776 New York 1665–1674 and 1702–1776 New Jersey Since 1666 Virgin Islands Since 1670 Cayman Islands 1670–1973 *Bahamas 1670–1870 Rupert's Land 1671–1816 Leeward Islands 1674–1702 East Jersey 1674–1702 West Jersey 1680–1776 New Hampshire 1681–1776 Pennsylvania 1686–1689 New England 1691–1776 Massachusetts Bay

1701–1776 Delaware 1712–1776 North Carolina 1712–1776 South Carolina 1713–1867 Nova Scotia 1733–1776 Georgia 1754–1820 Cape Breton Island 1762–1974 *Grenada 1763–1978 Dominica 1763–1873 Prince Edward Island 1763–1791 Quebec 1763–1783 East Florida 1763–1783 West Florida 1784–1867 New Brunswick 1791–1841 Lower Canada 1791–1841 Upper Canada Since 1799 Turks and Caicos Islands

1818–1846 Columbia District/Oregon Country1 1833–1960 Windward Islands 1833–1960 Leeward Islands 1841–1867 Canada 1849–1866 Vancouver Island 1853–1863 Queen Charlotte Islands 1858–1866 British Columbia 1859–1870 North-Western Territory 1860–1981 *British Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda 1862–1863 Stickeen 1866–1871 British Columbia 1867–1931 * Dominion
Dominion
of Canada2 1871–1964 Honduras 1882–1983 * Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis 1889–1962 Trinidad and Tobago 1907–1949 Newfoundland3 1958–1962 West Indies Federation

1. Occupied jointly with the United States. 2. In 1931, Canada and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. See Name of Canada. 3. Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada in 1949.

South America

1631–1641 Providence Island 1651–1667 Willoughbyland 1670–1688 Saint Andrew and Providence Islands4 1831–1966 Guiana Since 1833 Falkland Islands5 Since 1908 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands5

4. Now a department of Colombia. 5. Occupied by Argentina during the Falklands War
Falklands War
of April–June 1982.

Africa

17th and 18th centuries 19th century 20th century

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 1792–1961 Sierra Leone 1795–1803 Cape Colony

Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 1806–1910 Cape of Good Hope 1807–1808 Madeira 1810–1968 Mauritius 1816–1965 The Gambia 1856–1910 Natal 1862–1906 Lagos 1868–1966 Basutoland 1874–1957 Gold Coast 1882–1922 Egypt

1884–1900 Niger
Niger
Coast 1884–1966 Bechuanaland 1884–1960 Somaliland 1887–1897 Zululand 1890–1962 Uganda 1890–1963 Zanzibar 1891–1964 Nyasaland 1891–1907 Central Africa 1893–1968 Swaziland 1895–1920 East Africa 1899–1956 Sudan

1900–1914 Northern Nigeria 1900–1914 Southern Nigeria 1900–1910 Orange River 1900–1910 Transvaal 1903–1976 Seychelles 1910–1931 South Africa 1914–1960 Nigeria 1915–1931 South-West Africa 1919–1961 Cameroons6 1920–1963 Kenya 1922–1961 Tanganyika6 1923–1965 and 1979–1980 Southern Rhodesia7 1924–1964 Northern Rhodesia

6. League of Nations mandate. 7. Self-governing Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (as Rhodesia) and continued as an unrecognised state until the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. After recognised independence in 1980, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
was a member of the Commonwealth until it withdrew in 2003.

Asia

17th and 18th century 19th century 20th century

1685–1824 Bencoolen 1702–1705 Pulo Condore 1757–1947 Bengal 1762–1764 Manila and Cavite 1781–1784 and 1795–1819 Padang 1786–1946 Penang 1795–1948 Ceylon 1796–1965 Maldives

1811–1816 Java 1812–1824 Banka and Billiton 1819–1826 Malaya 1824–1948 Burma 1826–1946 Straits Settlements 1839–1967 Aden 1839–1842 Afghanistan 1841–1997 Hong Kong 1841–1946 Sarawak 1848–1946 Labuan 1858–1947 India 1874–1963 Borneo

1879–1919 Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(protectorate) 1882–1963 North Borneo 1885–1946 Unfederated Malay States 1888–1984 Brunei 1891–1971 Muscat and Oman 1892–1971 Trucial States 1895–1946 Federated Malay States 1898–1930 Weihai 1878–1960 Cyprus

1907–1949 Bhutan
Bhutan
(protectorate) 1918–1961 Kuwait 1920–1932 Mesopotamia8 1921–1946 Transjordan8 1923–1948 Palestine8 1945–1946 South Vietnam 1946–1963 North Borneo 1946–1963 Sarawak 1946–1963 Singapore 1946–1948 Malayan Union 1948–1957 Federation of Malaya Since 1960 Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(before as part of Cyprus) Since 1965 British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory (before as part of Mauritius and the Seychelles)

8 League of Nations mandate. Iraq's mandate was not enacted and replaced by the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty

Oceania

18th and 19th centuries 20th century

1788–1901 New South Wales 1803–1901 Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania 1807–1863 Auckland Islands9 1824–1980 New Hebrides 1824–1901 Queensland 1829–1901 Swan River/Western Australia 1836–1901 South Australia since 1838 Pitcairn Islands

1841–1907 New Zealand 1851–1901 Victoria 1874–1970 Fiji10 1877–1976 Western Pacific Territories 1884–1949 Papua 1888–1901 Rarotonga/Cook Islands9 1889–1948 Union Islands9 1892–1979 Gilbert and Ellice Islands11 1893–1978 Solomon Islands12

1900–1970 Tonga 1900–1974 Niue9 1901–1942 *Australia 1907–1947 *New Zealand 1919–1942 and 1945–1968 Nauru 1919–1949 New Guinea 1949–1975 Papua and New Guinea13

9. Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand. 10. Suspended member. 11. Now Kiribati
Kiribati
and *Tuvalu. 12. Now the *Solomon Islands. 13. Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica
Antarctica
and South Atlantic

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 Since 1908 British Antarctic Territory15 1841–1933 Australian Antarctic Territory
Australian Antarctic Territory
(transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia) 1841–1947 Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
(transferred to the Realm of New Zealand)

14. Since 2009 part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island
Ascension Island
(1922–) and Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
(1938–) were previously dependencies of Saint Helena. 15. Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

v t e

Outlying territories of European countries

Territories under European sovereignty but closer to or on continents other than Europe
Europe
(see inclusion criteria for further information).

Denmark

Greenland

France

Clipperton Island French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Adélie Land Crozet Islands Île Amsterdam Île Saint-Paul Kerguelen Islands Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean

Guadeloupe Martinique Mayotte New Caledonia Réunion Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis and Futuna

Italy

Pantelleria Pelagie Islands

Lampedusa Lampione Linosa

Netherlands

Aruba Caribbean Netherlands

Bonaire Saba Sint Eustatius

Curaçao Sint Maarten

Norway

Bouvet Island Peter I Island Queen Maud Land

Portugal

Azores Madeira

Spain

Canary Islands Ceuta Melilla Plazas de soberanía

Chafarinas Islands Alhucemas Islands Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

United Kingdom

Anguilla Bermuda British Antarctic Territory British Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territory British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Falkland Islands Gibraltar Montserrat Pitcairn Islands Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Turks

.