The Chagossians (also Îlois or Chagos Islanders) are people who previously lived on the Chagos Islands. They are of African, Indian and Malay ancestry. They lived on Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos and the Salomon island chain, as well as other islands. They were forcibly removed from the islands by the British government in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was done at the request of the United States government, so that Diego Garcia could become a military base. Most Chagossians now live in Mauritius and the United Kingdom. No Chagossians live in the Chagos Islands anymore, as it is now the site of the military base Camp Justice.
The Chagossians are mostly descended from African people, particularly from Madagascar, Mozambique and Mauritius. There is also a significant proportion of Indian and Malay ancestry. The French brought some to the Chagos islands as slaves from Mauritius in 1786. Others arrived as fishermen, farmers, and coconut plantation workers during the 19th century.
The Chagossians speak Chagossian Creole, a creole language based on French. It has words that come from various African and Asian languages. It is part of the Bourbonnais Creole family. Chagossian Creole is still spoken by some of their descendants in Mauritius and Seychelles. Chagossian people living in the UK speak English.
- "June 2012 update | The UK Chagos Support Association". Chagossupport.org.uk. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2013-08-01.