Fifty long years.
It’s been fifty long years that the Chagos people have seen their lives changing for good.
So far the Island was under dependency of Mauritius Island, which were an English colony. Chagos Islands became a British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and were rent right away to the United States in order to become an important military basis.
The agreement between the UK and the US was strong and straight: The Chagos people must leave their islands. And the inhabitants didn’t saw that coming up. The Deportation took place from 1965 to 1973. Since then, no one of the Chagos belongers had the chance to go back to their motherland.
Fifty long years that they have been away from their homes, away from their ancestors, away from their history and away from themselves.
Fifty long years that they are living and surviving, parked in the ghettos of Port-Louis, the capital city of Mauritius Island, considered like « dogs ». They are still fighting though, for their right to come back to their soil. Fifty long years of dreaming of their land, this little archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
Nowadays in Mauritius Island, two different movements are struggling for the right to return back to Chagos. On the first hand there is Olivier Bancoult, head of the Chagos Refugee Group,
while on the other hand it’s Fernand Mandarin, who is in charge of the Chagossians Social Committee. Two different way of dealing with this situation.