- Mount Tumbledown near Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Picture via Flickr by Donald Morrison.
- The contention between Argentina and Britain dates back to the 1982 war between the two countries over the sovereignty of the Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in the south Atlantic which lie east of Argentina and are geographically closer to that country than the United Kingdom. A total of 907 casualties were reported in the war which lasted 74 days. 649 casualties listed from Argentina and 255 British Servicemen and 3 Falkland Island civilians were listed from the UK casualty list. April 5, 2012 will be the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falkland Islands conflict.
The ownership of the Islands has been a contentious issue since the 18th century. Although the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 confirmed Spain's control of South American territories, including the Falklands, with ownership then being transferred to Argentina; In 1833 the United Kingdom officially claimed and has retained ownership of the Islands since then.
In recent years the water around the Falklands has brought the issue of sovereignty back into the headlines. Oil was discovered off the Falklands in May 2010. There are 4 main players in the oil exploration off the Islands according to The Telegraph. Desire Petroleum, Rockhopper, Falkland Oil and Gas and Borders and Southern all based in the UK.
- Argentina threatened legal action against any business who commences drilling for oil off the coast of the Falklands.
The country’s foreign minister Hector Timerman said it would pursue legal action against firms exploring for oil around the islands and any other companies who do business with them.
- The British Government hit back, accusing Argentina’ of "illegal intimidation."
- There are some who believe that the Falklands should be owned by Argentina. In February 2012 Peruvian President Ollanta Humala expressed his support on behalf of the Peruvian people and government, for the “legitimate rights of Argentina’s sovereignty.”
- Prince William completed military duty on the the Islands and the British Navy sent its largest warship to the area which increased Argentina's interest in the Islands as well as tensions between the two nations and reopened old colonial wounds.
- 61 percent of Britons say that the United Kingdom should "protect the Falkland Islands at all costs.
- Read this story on my blog Breise Breise! Extra Extra!