British Indian Ocean Territory Facts Info StuffBritish Indian Ocean Territory Info

Facts About British Indian Ocean Territory | British Indian Ocean Territory Facts Info Stuff

Here are some interesting facts about British Indian Ocean Territory - Category: Introduction - Background: Established as a territory of the UK in 1965, a number of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) islands were transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Former agricultural workers, earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius but also to the Seychelles, between 1967 and 1973. In 2000, a British High Court ruling invalidated the local immigration order that had excluded them from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia.

Category: Government - Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK)

Category: People - Population: no indigenous inhabitants; note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in the Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois, were relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s and 1970s; in November 2000 they were granted the right of return by a British High Court ruling, though no timetable has been set; in November 2004, approximately 4,000 UK and US military personnel and civilian contractors were living on the island of Diego Garcia

Category: Economy - Electricity - production (kWh): NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by the US military

Category: Geography - Geography - note: archipelago of 55 islands; Diego Garcia, largest and southernmost island, occupies strategic location in central Indian Ocean; island is site of joint US-UK military facility

Category: Transportation - Airports - with paved runways: total: 1; over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)

Category: Communications - Telephones - main lines in use: NA

Category: Military - Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK; the US lease on Diego Garcia expires in 2016

Category: Transnational Issues - Disputes - international: Mauritius claims the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia; in 2001, the former inhabitants of the Chagos Archipelago, evicted in 1967 and 1973 and now residing chiefly in Mauritius, were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation; in May 2007, the UK Court of Appeals upheld the May 2006 High Court of London judgment reversing the UK government's 2004 Orders of Council that banned habitation on the islands; a small group of Chagossians visited Diego Garcia in April 2006; repatriation is complicated by the exclusive US military lease of Diego Garcia that restricts access to the largest viable island in the chain

Other random facts about British Indian Ocean Territory 

  1. Geography - Map references: Political Map of the World

  2. Communications - Telephone system: general assessment: separate facilities for military and public needs are available; domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, including connection to the Internet; international: country code (Diego Garcia) - 246; international telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)

  3. Geography - Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 71 30 E; note - Diego Garcia 7 20 S, 72 25 E

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Source: CIA - The World Factbook