The Argentine State Secretary for Affairs Relating to the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas has met members of the diplomatic community and the press at the Argentine Embassy in Addis Abeba on Wednesday. The State Secretary, Ambassador Daniel Filmus urged governments in the African continent to support Argentina’s attempt to reclaim the Malvinas Islands from the United Kingdom.
The Malvinas Islands, also known as the Falkland Islands, are an archipelago in South Atlantic Pacific Ocean located less than 500 km from mainland Argentina and 13 000 km from the UK. Since the establishment of a naval garrison in 1833 the UK has administered the area. However in 1982 Argentina tried to control the islands by sending troops causing a fierce battle between the two countries. After the withdrawal of the Argentine forces, UK administration resumed.
“We will persist. We will insist and still follow the diplomatic ways,” asserts Ambassador Filmus clarifying the way Argentina uses to retain the islands this time.
In its General Assembly Resolution 2065, the United Nations defined the Malvinas questions as a special colonial case that involves sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the UK. The UK prefers to see the problem as self-determination in which the Islanders themselves decide their future. “What kind self-determination are we talking about in an Island with less than 3000 people, most of whom are British descendants? It is a matter of territorial integrity,” maintained Filmus. As of 2012, the Islands have a population size of 2840.
In 1965 a three step solution was proposed in which the UK first acknowledges Argentine jurisdiction, then allows both parties to have a joint administration and finally leases the Islands back to Argentina by 1980. The UK refused to implement this proposed on the ground that Argentina is under a dictatorship.
“We now have a thirty year old democracy,” said Filmus. “And all we need is the dialogue between us two to begin. Because if there is no dialogue, there is no way to resolve this issue.”
The UK is said to spend 65 million pound a year to administer the Islands.