Government Launches Consultation on Chagossian Return Home
Having admitted that Chagossian resettlement of their homeland is "practically feasible" following an independent resettlement report earlier this year, the Government has opened a consultation on return options with the Chagossian people.
Consultation documents include a short "Review of Review of Resettlement Options" report which offers some insight into the Government's current position on delivering the right to return to the Chagossian people.
The document appears to indicate that limited initial resettlement to Diego Garcia is the main return option under consideration at the moment. A one-page questionairre to be distributed to Chagossians has also been published which attempts to assess interest in such a model.
UK Chagos Support Association Committee Chair Stefan Donnelly stated that "We will take time to assess the consultation documents and consult with Chagossian groups before issuing any response. We welcome though what we hope is a new willingness to engage directly with Chagossians and begin serious work to end almost half a century of senseless injustice. We will of course be happy to engage with and support such a process."
"There are though more questions to be asked; including explanations for model of return offered and the substainally increased cost estimates from what were already 'pessimisitc' independent estimates from KPMG's feasibility study."
The consultation will run until the 27th October 2015. All Chagossians all welcome to submit their views and a Kreol version of the questionairre has been promised shortly.
With just over two months though, there is certainly time to consider what are big questions and discuss these fellow community members.
We will be happy to answer any questions from Chagossians too, or press the Government for more clarity or detail on particular issues.
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