Indian Ocean islanders who were forced into exile to make way for a key U.S. military base are appealing to Britain's top court in their long-running campaign to return home.

Britain evicted thousands of people from the tropical Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so that the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands.

A decade ago Britain's High Court and Court of Appeal ruled they and their descendants could return, but those decisions were overturned in 2008 by the Law Lords, then Britain's highest court.

The Law Lords was replaced by the Supreme Court in 2009. The islanders argued at Monday's hearing that the earlier judgment should be overturned because the government of the time withheld information.