The Chagos Islands - an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, halfway Africa and Indonesia. Colonised by French plantation operators, populated by slaves taken from other French island colonies in the Indian Ocean. In 1804 conquered by the British who abolished slavery. Plantations and workers however stayed.
And then the government of the United States of America decided that the archipelago was of high strategic value and wanted to have the natural harbour of the main island, Diego Garcia, as a navy base - condition was that there should be no human beings snooping around.
The islands were detached from the original main island colony, Mauritius, were not given independence and the British government decreed that the population of slave descendants was really an itinerant worker community.Plantations were nationalised and immediately closed down. The islanders were deported, the US navy and air force moved in (1973).
In the so-called war on terror the islands are used as a prison and torture camp under the incredible code name of Footprint of Freedom.
Although the indigenous people won their court cases against their deportation they are still being denied the right of return. Nowadays, the risk of climate change is the main story why the islands should not be populated. A continuing sad story.
Olivier Bancoult was four years old when he left the archipelago in 1967. His little sister had been hurt in a cart accident and was taken to a local dispensary on Bancoult's home island of Peros Banhos, in the northeastern part of Chagos archipelago. But the nurse there didn't have the resources to help; the girl would have to travel to Mauritius, an African island nation 1300 miles away, for effective treatment.
"So my mom and dad decided that the whole family needed to move to Mauritius, but that we would move back after the treatment of my sister," recalls Bancoult. Further reading.