The Chagos Archipelago of 54 islands, formerly administered as a dependency of the British Colony of Mauritius, was excised from Mauritius by the UK in 1965, three years before independence. It was renamed the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), and its inhabitants (about 1500 people) were deported to Mauritius and Seychelles between 1968 and 1973 to make way for a US military base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. Depopulation enabled the British government to avoid having to administer the islands and to report annually to the UN via the Special Committee on Decolonisation, or C-24.