Chagossian visit to Chagos Islands: Boycotts by several Chagossian groups
The latest UK government organised visit to the Chagos Islands will be going ahead at the end of October. The 12 day trip will be funded from the £40m support package announced last November when the UK government decided not to proceed with a Chagossian return programme.
The visit, however, has been boycotted by several Chagossian groups, including the Chagos Refugees Group and the Seychelles Chagossian Committee. This is in protest that the UK will not allow Chagossians to return permanently to their homeland.
The visit will continue, with 6 Chagossians from Mauritius and a selection living in the UK. The UK government has commented that selections were made on the basis of who had previously not been involved in a trip to the islands.
Pierre Prosper, Chairperson of the Seychelles Chagossian Committee, stated that a lack of clarity from UK officals also contributed to their decision to boycott the the trip.
"When the Brits came with the proposal to improve the living conditions of the Chagossians and the sum of £ 40 million, we asked for clarification on the cost of the visit to the Chagos and how the money will be used," says Pierre Prosper. But to this day, he adds, the British have given no details," Mr Prosper stated.