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Useful Notes / British Indian Ocean Territory

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As the name suggests, the British Indian Ocean Territory is a British Overseas Territory located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, south of the Maldives. It consists of the Chagos Archipelago, a group of seven atolls in the Indian Ocean, with the capital and largest settlement being Camp Justice on Diego Garcia, the largest and most southerly island and home to a famed joint UK/US military base. This is also notably one of the only two British territories where traffic drives on the right side of the road, the other being Gibraltar.

The only inhabitants of this territory are American and British military personnel and associated contractors, with the territory being off-limits to casual tourists, Chagossians and the media. There use to be a native population, the aforementioned Chagossians, but they were expelled from the territory by the United Kingdom at the request of the United States in 1973, and the exiled Chagossians are still trying to return to this day, arguing that the forced expulsion and dispossession was illegal. There is also an ongoing territorial dispute between Mauritius and the UK over this territory, as it was separated from Mauritius in 1965.

During the Cold War, the territory serve as the U.S. and the UK's pressence in the Indian Ocean to counter any Soviet threat. B-52 Bombers and warships based in Diego Garcia saw action against Saddam Hussein's forces during the Gulf War. As the War on Terror commenced, it is also alleged to be a detainment facility for captured terrorists similar to the U.S. Naval facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


The British Indian Ocean Territory recently gained media coverage in March 2014 after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 after conspiracy theorists suggested it landed in Diego Garcia. The Pentagon denied such claims.

The British Indian Ocean Territory in fiction:

The British Indian Ocean Territory flag
This flag depicts the waters of the Indian Ocean where the islands are located in the form of white and blue wavy lines, with the Union Jack in it's canton and a depiction of a palm tree rising above the St Edward's Crown on the right side of flag.


Example of: