World Country British Indian Ocean Territory

About the world country British Indian Ocean Territory, its location, size, population, and who is in power.




Location: Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, south of India.

Size: 30 sq. mi. (78 sq. km.). Population: No permanent inhabitants; a few thousand U.S. military personnel.

Who Really Rules: Britain leases Diego Garcia, the main Chagos island, to the U.S., which uses it as its chief naval logistical base and antisubmarine air station in the Indian Ocean region. Britain severed the islands from Mauritius in 1968, when it granted that west Indian Ocean island independence. Britain paid Mauritius pond 3 million sterling and moved Diego Garcia's 1,200 to 1,500 inhabitants to Mauritius.

Mauritian leaders, who say that the British promised the islands would be used only for a communications station, are now claiming sovereignty over the territory, and they are backed by the Organization of African Unity.

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