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Ilois: Resettlement

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 38412, tabled on 24 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether during his recent visit to Mauritius the British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner discussed prospects for resettlement with Oliver Bancoult, the Leader of the Chagos Refugees Group.

Answered on

1 June 2016

The Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory, who also holds the position of Director of Overseas Territories in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visited Mauritius to lead a UK delegation to continue official-level talks started in November in London to implement the recent UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Arbitral Tribunal Award. The Commissioner took the opportunity to, once again, seek Mauritius’ views on the question of resettlement, though as before this was refused by Mauritius. While in Mauritius, the Commissioner joined meetings between the British High Commissioner to Mauritius and Chagossian leaders, including Mr Bancoult. A range of matters were discussed, including the Government’s further work to develop its policy on the question of resettlement of BIOT. The Commissioner indicated that the UK is still considering its policy in this area and will announce developments in due course.