What Is the Falkland Islands Issue?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 18, 2022, 10:20

The Falkland Islands are also called as Spanish Islas Malvinas, or Malvinas Islands. The island is an internally autonomous overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is spread across 300 miles of the northeast of the southern tip of South America towards the east of the Strait of Magellan.

Stanley is the capital and also the major town on the East Falkland islands. Some scattered small settlements and a Royal Air Force base are located at Mount Pleasant. The two main islands, West Falkland and East Falkland, and around two hundred small islands are where the Falkland Islands Issue occurred.

History of the Falkland Islands Issue

The British were first settled in the West Falkland islands in the year 1765 and later were driven out by the Spanish in 1770. Later in 1771, the British military camp was restored on the West Falkland after a threat of war, but due to some subsequent economic reasons, they left the island in 1774.

Until the year 1811, Spain maintained an outpost on East Falkland, in the name of Soledad Island. In 1820 the Argentina Government officially announced its sovereignty over the Falklands.

In 1831 the US warship destroyed the Argentine outpost on East Falkland in revenge for the arrest of its three ships. In early 1833, the British force threw out the Argentine officials present on the island still without using firearms.

Argentina's regular protection was going on against Britain’s occupation of the islands.

Falkland Islands Issue after World War II

After World War II, the Falkland Islands issue shifted to the United Nations (UN) (1939-45). The UN General Assembly passed a resolution appealing to Britain and Argentina to discuss and find a peaceful solution to the Falkland Islands issue in 1965.

These continuous discussions were still going on till April 1982, when the military government of Argentina invaded the islands.

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This invasion became the key reason for the start of the Falkland Islands issue and the war consequently. The war ended after ten weeks after the point when the Argentine forces surrendered to British troops at Stanley who had occupied the islands once again using force.

After that Falkland Islands issue remained a point of conflict, even though in 1990 Britain and Argentina reconstituted full diplomatic relations.

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Status of Falkland Islands Issue in the 21st Century

In the early 21st century, Britain pursued with 2 thousand troops on the islands.

The Falkland islands’ local democratic government strengthened when a new constitution came into effect in January 2009, which kept the islanders' right to determine the political status of the territory. In a direct vote held in March 2013, islanders voted together to remain a British overseas territory.

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FAQs on Falkland Islands Issue

Q.1 Why did the Falkland Islands Issue happen?

Ans. The ongoing issues over the islands increased when scrap metal merchants from Argentina raised the country's flag at South Georgia Island. This act would be the first offensive action in the Falkland Islands Issue.

Q.2 In the Falkland Islands Issue, why does Argentina want the Falkland Islands?

Ans. In the Falkland Islands Issue, Argentina believes it has a right to the islands, which are referred to as the Malvinas as they inherited them in the early 1800s from the Spanish crown.

Q.3 Why did the Falklands islands issue have so much importance?

Ans. The Falkland Islands issue has much importance as these islands were mainly used as a refuge for whalers and others shipping in the chilly waters of the South Atlantic Ocean until the British turned up, and the Islands became a very useful outpost in the rising British Empire.

Q.4 Did the US support Argentina in the Falkland Islands Issue?

Ans. The US had taken neutrality in the matter of the Falkland Islands Issue.

Q.5 How did Britain win in the Falkland Islands Issue?

Ans. The large Argentine garrison at Stanley surrendered after many weeks of fights, thus effectively ending the Falkland Islands Issue.