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Welcome to British Indian Ocean Territory

Flag description

white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes; the flag of the UK is in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the striped section bears a palm tree and yellow crown (the symbols of the territory) centered on the outer half of the flag; the wavy stripes represent the Indian Ocean; although not officially described, the six blue stripes may stand for the six main atolls of the archipelago

Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Between 1967 and 1973, former agricultural workers, earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius, but also to the Seychelles. Negotiations between 1971 and 1982 resulted in the establishment of a trust fund by the British Government as compensation for the displaced islanders, known as Chagossians. Beginning in 1998, the islanders pursued a series of lawsuits against the British Government seeking further compensation and the right to return to the territory. In 2006 and 2007, British court rulings invalidated the immigration policies contained in the 2004 BIOT Constitution Order that had excluded the islanders from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia. In 2008, the House of Lords, as the final court of appeal in the UK, ruled in favor of the British Government by overturning the lower court rulings and finding no right of return for the Chagossians.

Source : https://www.cia.gov
Please view the source for updated information

Location
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, south of India, about halfway between Africa and Indonesia

Geographic coordinates
6 00 S, 71 30 E; note - Diego Garcia 7 20 S, 72 25 E

Map references
Political Map of the World

Area
total: 54,400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 128
land: 60 sq km; Diego Garcia 44 sq km
water: 54,340 sq km
note: includes the entire Chagos Archipelago of 55 islands

Area - comparative
land area is about 0.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline
698 km

Maritime claims
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Elevation extremes
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Diego Garcia 15 m

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Bahrain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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