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Indian Ocean, Chagos Islands (BIOT): Possible Changes Ahead

By Val Ellis last modified Apr 08, 2019 10:40 AM
Contributors: Bob Conrich, BIOTAdmin@fco.gov.uk
The British Indian Ocean Territories of the Chagos Islands is an important stopping point for Cruisers but there may be changes in the future.

Published: 2019-04-08 00:00:00
Countries: BIOT (Chagos)

Indian Ocean, Chagos Islands (BIOT): Possible Changes Ahead

"Chagos map" by Mohonu at en.wikipedia - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Chagos Archipelago  is one on the very few untouched and unpolluted areas left on the planet and, as such, it is a very special place to visit. It also forms a very welcome break for those cruisers making the long Indian Ocean crossing in order to round the Cape of Good Hope. Advice on how cruisers can avoid destroying this fragile environment can be found at   BIOT/Environment.

Currently, the territory is under the jurisdiction of the British Government, but this has now been challenged. The following information has been received from Bob Cornrich:-

" International Court of Justice ruled last month that Britain's administration of the Chagos  Archipelago, administered as the British Indian Ocean Territory, has been illegal, and the islands are properly part of Mauritius. The naval and air base on Diego Garcia, which is operated by the US military, will have to be renegotiated.
Change could be a long process, involving three governments and the UN General Assembly.  For now, things remain the same for visiting cruisers, but change could be sudden.
"

These two very moving websites record the acquisition of the islands by the British and U.S governments and their heartless removal of the population in the 1960s.

The Stolen Islands of Chagos

Stealing a Nation - How the UK/US Stole the Diego Garcia Island

For now, this Archipelago is a very special place to visit but it must be stressed, it is not a tourist destination. The regulations regarding the formalities and the advance permit required are very strictly enforced and cruisers must be totally self-sufficient.

See  Noonsite/Countries/Chagos/Formalities

Boats visiting the islands report on what a wonderful place it is. Here is a selection of more recent reports.

A magic 3 weeks in Chagos

Cruiser Paradise Found

There are several others in the Reports section of the Chagos page at:-

Noonsite/Countries/Chagos

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