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Appeals court rejects islanders' claim against DOD for base development

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] on Friday ruled [PDF opinion] that the federal courts were not authorized to grant compensation to the Chagossians [Wikipedia backgrounder], a group of Indian Ocean islanders forced from their homes in 1963 when the US Department of Defense cleared the island of Diego Garcia to develop a US military base [Diego Garcia base website]. In rejecting the Chagossians' case, the court noted that reviewing 40-year-old decisions of the Defense Department would be "meddling in foreign affairs beyond our institutional competence."

In their suit against the US government [court documents], the Chagossians argued that in addition to losing their personal property and land to the development of the military base, they were subject to discrimination in base hiring practices. Prior to the US Defense Department developing the military base at Diego Garcia, the island had been under the control of the British government since 1814. AP has more.

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