Thousands of Indian Ocean islanders will be allowed to return home 30 years after being forced out to make room for a US air base, a British court ruled today. The court said the British government acted unlawfully when it expelled the Chagos archipelago residents after secretly selling a lease for one of the islands, Diego Garcia, to the US in 1966.
The government tricked and even starved islanders to remove them from their homes. Today's verdict, which allows them to resettle islands in the archipelago other than Diego Garcia, was opposed by the United States miliary, which expressed fears that security of the airbase, used for bombing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, would be compromised.
(Read more Chagos Archipelago stories.)