FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

Tanzania and Argentina
In its unrelenting efforts to gain control of what it calls the Malvinas (and Britain calls the Falkland Islands), the Argentine Secretary for Malvinas Affairs, Mr Daniel Filmus, has approached African countries to help it regain the disputed territory. In April this year Argentina invited reporters and editors from across Africa to a conference in Addis Ababa to drum up support for its diplomatic efforts to regain the islands from the UK. The Secretary made a passionate appeal to Tanzania to support its cause as it had done in the past during the liberation of Southern African countries. He mentioned Tanzania’s notable support at the UN for oppressed people. “Tanzania’s role in our cause is very crucial because of its track record of always siding with the oppressed and standing against the oppressors,” Mr Filmus said.

Responding to the Argentine positon that the UK had seized the islands and expelled indigenous residents, the UK High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Diana Melrose, said that the Argentinian claims were abso­lutely untrue. “There were no indigenous people on the islands before the first settlement established by France and the UK in the 1760s” she said. The UK had administered the Falklands peacefully and effectively for 182 years, interrupted only by the short-lived Argentine invasion of the islands in 1982”. Ms Melrose said that the Falkland Islands had never legitimately formed a part of the territory of Argentina and British sovereignty predated the existence of Argentina itself.

Ambassador Filmus said that the UK came and seized the islands. “We shall regain them through diplomatic means with support from the international community”, he said.

Yemen, South Africa and the DRC
Violence escalated seriously in Yemen during recent months and there have also been attacks by South African citizens on foreigners working in South Africa. In both cases arrangements were made by the govern­ment to evacuate Tanzanian personnel trapped and wishing to leave.

Two Tanzanian peacekeeping soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed in May when their convoy was attacked by sus­pected rebels in Kivu.

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