Diego Garcia Island

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Overview:

Dozens of migrants have been stranded for months on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean after being rescued from their struggling fishing boat.

About Diego Garcia Island:

  • It is a coral atoll, the largest and southernmost member of the Chagos Archipelago, in the central Indian Ocean.
  • It is a part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.
  • It consists of a V-shaped sand-fringed cay and its lagoon is open at the north end.
  • This island was discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century.

Key facts about the Chagos Archipelago

  • It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and Mauritius claims the archipelago as its own.
  • In 1810, Mauritius was captured by the United Kingdom and France ceded the territory in the Treaty of Paris.
  • In 1965, three years before Mauritius got its independence, Britain separated the Chagos islands to carve out a ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’. 
  • In 1966, the UK leased Diego Garcia (the biggest island in the Chagos archipelago) to the US to create an air & naval base. For constructing the defence installation, the inhabitants of the island were forcibly removed.
  • In 1968 Mauritius was granted independence. 
  • In June 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the ICJ to deliver an advisory opinion on whether the continued administration of the Chagos Archipelago by the United Kingdom following the 1968 decolonisation process of Mauritius was lawful.
  • In February 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion that Britain has an obligation to end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago — home to the U.S. military base of Diego Garcia — and complete the process of decolonisation of Mauritius. 

 


Q1) What is Island?

An island is a landmass that is surrounded by water on all sides. It is typically smaller than a continent and larger than a rock or islet. Islands can be found in oceans, seas, lakes, or rivers, and they come in various shapes and sizes.

Source: Diego Garcia: The tropical island ‘hell’ for dozens of stranded migrants