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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August, 2003, 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK
Council to pay for exiled islanders
Diego Garcia
Islanders were exiled from Diego Garcia 30 years ago
The High Court has ruled a group of islanders exiled from their home in the Indian Ocean will have their stay in West Sussex paid for by the county council

About 30 people from the remote island of Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Archipelago, had camped out in Gatwick when they arrived in Britain in July.

The county council had said they were not responsible for the islanders because they flew into Heathrow.

The group had wanted to stay in Crawley because other fellow islanders had settled there.

High unemployment

The people were eventually put up in hotels but now the High Curt has ruled their stay in Britain will be paid for by West Sussex County Council.

So far it has cost the council 500,000 to support the islanders.

Now the council has said the cost of looking after the group is putting severe pressure on its social services budget.

The Diego Garcians were forced to leave their home in the 1970s when it was taken over by the British government for a British and American military base.

They were exiled to Mauritius, but now high unemployment there has prompted them to travel to Britain.

Exiled islanders put up in hotels
20 Jul 03  |  Southern Counties
Islanders camp out at Gatwick
09 Jul 03  |  Southern Counties
Islanders in Diego Garcia stand-off
30 Jun 02  |  Monitoring
The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale
03 Nov 00  |  Politics
Hope for Indian Ocean islanders
24 Aug 00  |  South Asia

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