Here's Why Britain And Argentina Are Fighting Over Those Tiny Falkland Islands

Photo: Getty Images/Stringer

The Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean with a population of little over 2,400, has been a British Overseas Territory (the Islands run their own affairs, and only consult with Britain on foreign affairs and defence) for almost the last 180 years. Unfortunately, the Falklands have been a bone of contention between Britain and Argentina for just as long — and shows no sign of abating.

As the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War approaches, we examine this alleged case of modern-day “colonialism”.

In the 1700s, France and Britain unknowingly claimed opposite sides of the island. Spain, which had colonial interests in South America, soon forced them out.


Britain, France, and Spain began negotiations, and the British got their bit back. But they soon withdrew to fight the American War of Independence.


Spain left in the 1800s too, when their South American colonies began to revolt. Newly-independent Argentina sent a representative to the Falklands.

Argentina claimed all rights over the Falklands (or 'Las Malvinas') that previously belonged to Spain. (Source)

In 1833, Britain and Argentina broke diplomatic relations over the Islands issue. The U.S. supported Britain, which re-asserted its claim over the islands.

Britain continued to administer the Falkland Islands until 1982. (Source)

In 1965, the UN passed a resolution to try and get Britain and Argentina to resolve the issue through peaceful negotiation.


It didn't work. Later, all hell broke loose.

On April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Islands and occupied them for 10 weeks before being defeated by the British on June 14, 'Liberation Day'. (Source)

700 Argentine and 255 British troops were killed, and many Argentines were captured as POWs.


Diplomatic relations were finally restored in 1990.

The two countries signed a statement to 'build confidence and reduce tension' in 1999. (Source)

The amity didn't last long. In 2002, the UN called for renewed talks on the Falklands.


The Argentines were probably not happy at missing their chance to make millions. (Source)

In December 2011, the Mercosur countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile closed their ports to ships flying the Falklands flag to register their protest against Britain.


Cameron has contingency plans to increase the number of troops on the Islands for the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. (Source)

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