||The BIOT Post Office is managed by the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government and
is operated on its behalf by Sure (Diego Garcia) Limited. The
Post Office provides outbound postal services from the
island of Diego Garcia. Incoming mail is handled by both the US Postal
Service and the British Forces Post Office.
British Indian Ocean
Territory (BIOT) lies about 1770 km east of the Seychelles. The islands have a land area
of only 60 sq km and 698 km of coastline. Diego Garcia, the largest and most southerly
island, is 44 sq km. The climate is hot, humid and moderated by trade winds. The terrain
is flat and low and most areas do not exceed two metres above sea level.
The Chagos islands were first discovered, uninhabited, in the
16th century. The French assumed sovereignty in the late 18th century and began to exploit
them for copra, originally employing slave labour. Under the treaty of Paris in 1814,
France ceded to Britain Mauritius and its dependencies, which comprised Seychelles and the
Chagos Archipelago. The Chagos islands were detached to become part of the British Indian
Ocean Territory in 1965.
Diego Garcia has approx. 3,000 inhabitants, mainly UK and US
military personnel and civilians, and Filipino and Mauritian civilians.