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The Making Of The Chagos Affair: Myths And Reality

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores in depth the relationship between the decolonisation of Mauritius and setting up of the BIOT through the detachment of the Chagos archipelago from Mauritius during the Cold War. Making use of declassified materials now available at the Public Records Office in the UK, it focuses on the motivations and strategies of various protagonists - the US and British authorities as well as political elites of Mauritius. Mauritius acceded to independence within the Commonwealth under a constitution that had been deliberately manipulated to avoid embarrassment to the British government of having to declare the Ilois, citizens of the BIOT since 1965, apatrides. Sir John Rennie, the British governor, reported on 11 November 1965 that there was a widespread perception in Mauritius that a deal had been struck on the excision of Chagos against independence. This was precisely the stand of the Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD ) at the time.

Keywords: BIOT; British government; Chagos archipelago; Mauritius; Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD ); Sir John Rennie



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