The Last Colony

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After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain? In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the 'British Indian Ocean Territory') and deport the entire local population. One of those inhabitants was Liseby Elysé, twenty years old, newly married, expecting her first child. One suitcase, no pets, the British ordered, expelling her from the only home she had ever known. For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases.