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Get A Large Static Flag British Indian Ocean Territory
Flag of British Indian Ocean Territory
Map of British Indian Ocean Territory
Introduction British Indian Ocean Territory
Established as a territory of UK in 1965, a number of British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) islands were transferred to Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of six main island groups comprising Chagos Archipelago. largest and most southerly of islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of remaining islands are uninhabited. Former agricultural workers, earlier residents in islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius but also to Seychelles, between 1967 and 1973. In 2000, a British High Court ruling invalidated local immigration order that had excluded them from archipelago, but upheld special military status of Diego Garcia.
Geography British Indian Ocean Territory
archipelago in Indian Ocean, south of India, about one-half way from Africa to Indonesia
Geographic coordinates:
6 00 S, 71 30 E
Map references:
Political Map of World
total: 60 sq km
note: includes entire Chagos Archipelago
water: 0 sq km
land: 60 sq km
Area - comparative:
about 0.3 times size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
698 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 3 NM
tropical marine; hot, humid, moderated by trade winds
flat and low (most areas do not exceed four meters in elevation)
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Diego Garcia 15 m
Natural resources:
coconuts, fish, sugarcane
Land use:
arable land: NEGL
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
archipelago of 2,300 islands; Diego Garcia, largest and southernmost island, occupies strategic location in central Indian Ocean; island is site of joint US-UK military facility
People British Indian Ocean Territory
Total Population:
no indigenous inhabitants
note: approximately 1,200 former agricultural workers resident in Chagos Archipelago, often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois, were relocated to Mauritius and Seychelles in 1960's and 1970's, in November 2000 they were granted right of return by a British High Court ruling, though no timetable has been set; in 2001, there were approximately 1,500 UK and US military personnel and 2,000 civilian contractors living on island of Diego Garcia (July 2003 est.)
Government British Indian Ocean Territory
Country name:
conventional long form: British Indian Ocean Territory
conventional short form: none
abbreviation: BIOT
Dependency status:
overseas territory of UK; administered by a commissioner, resident in Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London
Legal system:
laws of UK, where applicable, apply
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
head of government: Commissioner Alan HUCKLE (since 2001); Administrator Louise SAVILL (since NA); note - both reside in UK
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; commissioner and administrator appointed by monarch
cabinet: NA
Diplomatic representation in US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Diplomatic representation from US:
none (overseas territory of UK)
Flag description:
white with six blue wavy horizontal stripes; flag of UK is in upper hoist-side quadrant; striped section bears a palm tree and yellow crown centered on outer half of flag
Economy British Indian Ocean Territory
Economy - overview:
All economic activity is concentrated on largest island of Diego Garcia, where joint UK-US defense facilities are located. Construction projects and various services needed to support military installations are done by military and contract employees from UK, Mauritius, Philippines, and US. There are no industrial or agricultural activities on islands. When Ilois return, they plan to reestablish sugarcane production and fishing.
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by US military
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Communications British Indian Ocean Territory
Telephones - main lines in use:
Telephone system:
general assessment: separate facilities for military and public needs are available
domestic: all commercial telephone services are available, includes connection to Internet
international: international telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Transportation British Indian Ocean Territory
total: NA km
paved: short section of paved road between port and airfield on Diego Garcia
unpaved: NA km
Ports and harbors:
Diego Garcia
1 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Military British Indian Ocean Territory
Military - note:
defense is responsibility of UK; US lease on Diego Garcia expires in 2016
Transnational Issues British Indian Ocean Territory
Disputes - international:
Mauritius and Seychelles claim Chagos Archipelago and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius, but in 2001 were granted UK citizenship and right to repatriation since eviction in 1965; repatriation is complicated by US military lease of Diego Garcia, largest island in chain