Argentina still wants Falklands 30 years after war
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 10:33
  
Ushuaia: Argentina's president said that she has asked the International Red Cross to persuade Britain to let its DNA experts identify unknown soldiers buried in the Falkland Islands.

Thirty years after Argentina and Britain went to war over the remote South Atlantic archipelago, Cristina Fernandez says universal human rights demand that both countries work together to give those remains back to their families.

Her much-anticipated speech on the anniversary of Argentina's April 2, 1982 invasion of the islands was focused on promoting dialogue and understanding. She said yesterday her government sets a global standard for protecting human rights and vowed to "respect the interests of the islanders" as Argentina seeks to peacefully regain control.

"We don't have war drums, nor do we wear military helmets. Our only helmets are those of construction workers, working for the inclusion of all," she said at the city's Monument to the Fallen, honoring the 649 Argentines who died in the conflict.

Despite attention-grabbing images of protesters burning a Union Jack flag and a soldier in effigy outside the British embassy yesterday, polls show zero appetite among Argentines for a military solution.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in London earlier Monday that Britain had to come to the islanders' defense in 1982, and will do so again if anyone tries to deprive them of their liberty. The 74-day occupation ended when British troops routed the ill-prepared Argentines in hard-fought trench warfare. In all, 255 British soldiers and three islanders were killed.

Fernandez called Cameron's statement absurd and ridiculous, noting that Argentines were also deprived of their liberty at the time, living under a 1976-1983 dictatorship, supported by outside powers, that had kidnapped and killed thousands of its own people.

"I am proud of having made promoting human rights one of the pillars of our state," she said. For this reason, it's impossible to consider that Argentina would not also protect the rights of the 3,000 islanders, she argued.

Britain has refused Argentina's repeated calls to negotiate the islands' sovereignty, saying it's up to the islanders to decide. Before, during and after the 1982 conflict, the islanders have overwhelmingly said they want to maintain British protection.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 10:33


comments powered by Disqus