Does this dispute cover all of BIOT, or only a subset of it? In other words: should sovereignty of the Chagos Islands be transferred to Mauritius, would there still be a BIOT?
Mauritius claims the entirety of the current extent of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Territory, at its creation by the British Indian Ocean Territory Order 1965, consisted of:
a) the Chagos Archipelago, being islands which immediately before the date of this Order were included in the Dependencies of Mauritius, and
b) the Farquhar Islands, the Aldabra Group and the Island of Desroches, being islands which immediately before the date of this Order were part of the Colony of Seychelles,
The BIOT's territorial extent was most recently altered in 1976 with the British Indian Ocean Territory Order 1976, which made provision for the islands mentioned in subsection (b) above to be returned to the Seychelles on its independence.
The most recent version of the order, the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004, sets out the extent of the territory in its schedule:
- Diego Garcia
- Three Brothers Islands
- Egmont or Six Islands
- Nelson or Legour Island
- Peros Banhos
- Eagle Islands
- Salomon Islands
- Danger Islands
These islands all lie within the Chagos Archipelago and all are claimed by the Mauritian government; see, for example section 111 of the Mauritian Constitution, which has claimed the archipelago as part of Mauritius since its 1992 amendment. If they were ceded to Mauritius, then the BIOT would cease to exist.