Residents of the Falkland Islands voted almost unanimously to stay under British rule in a referendum held on 10-11 March 2013. The official figure showed that 99.8 percent of islanders voted in favor of remaining a British Overseas Territory in the two-day poll. The referendum was rejected by Argentina. The voters’ turnout was 92 percent among the 1694 Falklands-born and long term resident. The islands lie off the tip of Patagonia, at the southern end of South America.
Argentina had mounted pressure on Britain to negotiate the sovereignty of the islands. It has increased its pressure since UK companies started drilling for oil and natural gas off the Falkland’s coastline. Many Latin American nations support Argentina.
Argentina has claimed the Falkland Islands since 1833. Argentina and Britain had fought a war in 1982 for rights over the islands.