Sunday, March 16, 2014

Did MH370 landed in Diego Garcia ?

Where in the World Is Diego Garcia?

Few could accuse you of ignorance for not heard of Diego Garcia—much less for not knowing that it's not a person but an island. One of the most obscure and far-flung places on earth, Diego Garcia doesn't come tripping off the tongue of even the most geographically sophisticated.

There are times, however, when the U.S. military has considered this 17-square-mile atoll of coral and sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on Earth.

A British Territory, Leased to the United States
In 1970, the island was leased to the United States, and developed as a joint U.S.-UK air and naval refueling and support station during the cold war. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean and out of cyclone range, it was ideal for keeping an eye on the Soviet Union.

A Strategic Air Base
Diego Garcia proved to be critically important as a refueling base during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and during Operation Desert Fox, it served as a base for B-52 bombers, which on Dec. 17, 1998, launched nearly 100 long-range cruise missiles aimed at Iraq. Beginning on Oct. 7, 2001, the United States again used Diego Garcia when it launched B-2 and B-52 bombers attacks against Afghanistan. In the current British and American-led war against Iraq, Diego Garcia has once again played a crucial strategic role.

The fact that Diego Garcia is more than 3,000 miles south of Iraq, and just a shade closer to Afghanistan, has not posed the logistical problems one might expect. According to the U.S. Air Force, B-52s have an "unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles."

The Military Base Today
In 2006, about 40 British and 1,000 U.S. military personnel, and 2,400 support workers of various nationalities (primarily Filipino and Sri Lankan) reside there.

Forced Removal of the Indigenous Inhabitants

Although Diego Garcia once had a small native population, the inhabitants, known as the Ilois, or the Chagossians, were forced to relocate (1967–1973) so that the island could be turned into the U.S. military base. Most of the roughly 1,500 displaced Chagossians were agricultural workers and fisherman. Uprooted and robbed of their livelihood, the Chagossians now live in poverty in Mauritius's urban slums, more than 1,000 miles from their homeland. A smaller number were deported to the Seychelles. About 850 islanders forced off Diego Garcia are alive today, and another 4,300 Chagossians have been born in exile. A 2003 60 Minutes segment and a 2004 documentary by Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, Stealing a Nation, have done much to publicize the little-known plight of the islanders.

No comments:

Post a Comment