Europe

UK says Chagos islanders evicted for US base may not go home

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 file photo, Chagos Islander Olivier Bancoult holds up a judgment paper at the start of a news conference inside the Houses of Parliament in London, after a court ruling decided Chagos Islanders are not allowed to return to their homeland. Indian Ocean islanders who were forced from their homes decades ago to make way for a U.S. military base will not be allowed to return, the British government has announced. Britain evicted about 2,000 people from the tropical Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands. The British government announced Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 that it will continue to lease Diego Garcia to the U.S. until 2036.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008 file photo, Chagos Islander Olivier Bancoult holds up a judgment paper at the start of a news conference inside the Houses of Parliament in London, after a court ruling decided Chagos Islanders are not allowed to return to their homeland. Indian Ocean islanders who were forced from their homes decades ago to make way for a U.S. military base will not be allowed to return, the British government has announced. Britain evicted about 2,000 people from the tropical Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands. The British government announced Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 that it will continue to lease Diego Garcia to the U.S. until 2036. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)  (The Associated Press)

The British government says Indian Ocean islanders who were forced from their homes to make way for a U.S. military base will not be allowed to return.

Britain evicted about 2,000 people from the Chagos archipelago, a British colony, in the 1960s and 1970s so the U.S. military could build an air base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands.

Chagossians have fought for decades to return to the other islands.

The British government says will continue to lease Diego Garcia to the U.S. until 2036. It says it has decided against letting the islanders return "on the grounds of feasibility, defense and security interests, and cost to the British taxpayer."

Conservative lawmaker Andrew Rosindell said Thursday that the decision had caused "shock, anger and dismay" among islanders.