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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

Argentina to complain to UN over UK ‘militarisation’ in Falklands region

There has been increasing tensions between the two countries over the disputed islands in recent months.

President Cristina Fernandez in front of a map of the Falkland Islands in the colours of the Argentine flag. The Latin American nation maintains the islands are theirs despite being officially under British control.
President Cristina Fernandez in front of a map of the Falkland Islands in the colours of the Argentine flag. The Latin American nation maintains the islands are theirs despite being officially under British control.
Image: Eduardo Di Baia/AP/Press Association Images

ARGENTINA INTENDS TO make a formal complaint to the United Nations over what it calls British “militarization” of the area around the disputed Falkland Islands.

President Cristina Fernandez accused the UK of “militarising the South Atlantic one more time” in a speech to MPs, senior officials, and veterans of the Falkland Islands War in 1982.

She said that she would be presenting a complaint to the UN Security Council and General Assembly because of the threat the UK’s actions pose to “international security”, according to BBC News.

The status of the tiny islands in the South Atlantic – which Argentina calls Las Malvinas – has been disputed for many years but it has been under British control since 1833. Its current status is as a British Overseas Territory meaning it has a degree of sovereignty from the UK.

Tensions have increased in recent weeks ahead of the 30th anniversary of the war when Argentina’s military junta briefly took control of the islands before the British defeated them following a 10-week long war in which hundreds died on both sides.

Last month the UK sent one of its destroyers, HMS Dauntless, to the region in what it described as a “routine” move. The Queen’s grandson Prince William has also been deployed to the region in his role as a search and rescue pilot.

This was criticised by Argentina with its foreign ministry saying he was arriving “in the uniform of a conquistador.”

“We will present a complaint to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, as this militarisation poses a grave danger to international security,” Fernandez said in a speech yesterday, asking British Prime Minister David Cameron to “give peace a chance”.

The UK Foreign Office later issued a statement to say that the people of the Falklands “are British out of choice”.

“They are free to determine their own future and there will be no negotiations with Argentina over sovereignty unless the islanders wish it,” the statement said.

In further sign of heightening tensions, the top football league in Argentina was renamed after a naval ship, the General Belgrano, sunk by the British during the Falklands War with the loss of over 320 Argentine servicemen.

Explainer: What’s going on in the Falkland Islands?

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