Major Chagos Updates from Let Us Return USA!
A day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Let Us Return USA!, the US support group for the exiled Chagossian people, wants to share some huge updates, including news that Chagossians may be close to going home…. In November the British government announced a dramatic policy change: it would begin negotiations with the government of Mauritius about Chagossians returning home and sovereignty over Diego Garcia and the Chagos islands. Chagossians rightly demanded they be part of these negotiations. Disturbingly the UK government said it would have “conversations” with Chagossians and then excluded them from the first round of talks. Chagossians and supporters, including members of Parliament and Human Rights Watch, have insisted that Chagossians be fully involved in all future talks. Human Rights Watch’s involvement (see video) is another major development, increasing pressure on the US and UK governments and support for Chagossians. HRW, one of the world’s leading human rights organizations, will release a major report about the Chagossians in the next few weeks. HRW has already demanded that any UK-Mauritius agreement include a commitment to the right of return and full reparations. We will write again when Human Rights Watch publishes its report, with news about how you can support the Chagossians at this critical moment. The links underlined above provide more information about the new developments. Links below offer more updates. Thank you for supporting the Chagossians at this exciting time, Let Us Return USA!
More Big Chagossian News…
Olivier Bancoult, chair of the Chagos Refugees Group, and other Chagossians visited Chagos for the first time without UK permission last year. Read about the trip and how momentum has built for the Chagossians since the 2019 International Court of Justice victory in a beautifully written Atlantic article (that unfortunately underplays the role of the US government in orchestrating and paying for the Chagossian exile).
More Chagossians won UK citizenship after previously being unable to get it like other Chagossians: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/01/evicted-chagos-islanders-descendants-to-get-british-citizenship
Let Us Return USA! and American University students, led by Caroline Robertson, helped create the online Chagos Archive (www.chagosarchive.org), which provides free access to thousands of pages of government documents and other archival material about the Chagossians and Diego Garcia. The Chagos Archive is a terrific resource for journalists, lawyers, academics, students, and others.
Major books about the Chagossians have appeared recently including The Last Colony, by the lawyer who helped defeat the UK at the International Court of Justice; the award-winning co-authored novel Diego Garcia; and new works of historical fiction An Impossible Return and Silence of the Chagos.
Get More Involved! The Let Us Return USA! website is always the best place for updates and current campaigns.