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British Indian Ocean Territory (British Overseas Territory)

Flag of British Indian Ocean Territory

Last Updated: 17 October 2012 

Country information

Status: British Overseas Territory
Area: 640,000 sq km (mostly ocean)
Population: To give effect to the decision that the islands should be set aside for the defence purposes of the UK and the USA, the Chagos Archipelago, together with certain islands in the Seychelles group, were detached in 1965 from Mauritius and Seychelles and the settled inhabitants, some 1,200 persons, were subsequently relocated to those two countries. Since then, the only inhabitants have been UK and US military personnel and civilian contract employees, all living on Diego Garcia. In February 2012, these numbered approximately 2,800 persons. (The islands that had been detached from Seychelles were returned to Seychelles in 1976).
Capital city: N/A
Languages: English
Currency: US$
Major political parties: N/A
Commissioner: Dr Peter Hayes (since October 2012)
Administrator: Mr John McManus (since April 2011)
Commissioner's representative: Officer commanding the British Forces complement on Diego Garcia.

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