India’s Military Base In Mauritius
India is no more shy or defencive regarding its surveillance base established in Mauritius for ensuring that peace prevails in the Indian Ocean Region. India had requested the Government of Mauritius, access in 2015, for establishing this defence facility. It is on North Agalega Island and will serve as an air and naval staging point for surveillance around south-west Indian Ocean.
India is in advanced stages of building a naval and air base in Mauritius. A joint US-UK base already exists at Diego Garcia which is a part of Chagos Archipelago and under forced occupation of UK.
Some American Institute has recently prepared a report, which compared the most recent images from Google Earth to the same location as seen in 2014. As per the report a new 3000-metre runway is now clearly visible with considerable apron overshadows. The project, the report said, entails a new airport, port and logistics and communication facilities. So far, project details have been kept tightly under the wraps by both India and Mauritius.
The imagery also shows what looks like barracks and fields which could be used as parade grounds or sporting facilities located near the north end of the runway. These images do not readily show evidence of fuel storage facilities or communications and intelligence installations. Such equipment and facilities are expected to be visible in future imagery, the report said.
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed a similar agreement with the then Seychelles President to develop Assumption Island for military use. But the deal generated considerable political motivated opposition in Seychelles. A revised deal was signed in 2018, but the recently elected Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan is yet to give his consent for the project.
Even the Lowy Institute report refers to India’s intention to build a new naval and air facility on Seychelles’ Assumption Island to develop its military access to the south-west Indian Ocean and Mozambique Channel.