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Chagos Islands: security, resettlement and sovereignty to be scrutinised by FAC

23 February 2024

On Wednesday 28 February, at 10.30am, the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Sub-Committee on the Overseas Territories will hold its evidence session on the Chagos Islands, also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The two panels are likely to cover the Chagossians’ right of return and considerations around resettlement.

Questions may also cover the implications of rulings against the UK such as the International Court of Justice and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. Implications considered could include those around the UK Government’s international reputation, the ability to administer the territory, and likely future legal challenges it may face.

The session may also cover the strategic advantages of maintaining the joint US-UK military base on Diego-Garcia and the different ownership models, such as a leasing agreement. Witnesses may also be asked about the impact of the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region, including China’s ambitions, and the implications of regional alliances.

The Sub-Committee will publish written evidence Wednesday morning, including evidence from representatives within the Chagossian diaspora. Copies will be available under embargo on Monday.

Witnesses

Wednesday 28 February

At 10.30am

  • Dr Walter C Ladwig III, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at King’s College London
  • David Snoxell, former High Commissioner to Mauritius

Approx. 11.30am               

  • Philippe Sands KC, Professor of Law, University College London 
  • Sir Robert Buckland MP, former Solicitor General

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright