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.
En 1965, au cœur de l’océan Indien, l’évacuation des îles Chagos est ordonnée. Quelques années plus tard, il ne reste plus un Chagossien aux Chagos. Sur l’île principale de Diego Garcia, une base militaire américaine est construite et toute approche civile interdite. 1971 : l’ONU déclare l’Océan Indien « zone de paix » (résolution 2832). En vain. Un demi siècle après le drame, les Chagossiens se rallient plus que jamais à leur mot d’ordre historique : « L’an prochain aux Chagos ». Et l’océan Indien cristallise les enjeux de ce nouveau siècle. Suite.