Monday, December 17th 2012 - 06:29 UTC

In January begins third phase of Argentine landmine clearance in the Falklands

The third phase of explosive ordnance and landmine clearance in the Falkland Islands is scheduled to begin next January and extend until March 2013 and is programmed to concentrate in the surrounding of the capital Stanley.

The Zimbabwe team celebrates previous successful clearances of areas that included Surf Bay, Goose Green, Sapper Hill and part of Stanley Common

These are the remnants of the Argentine occupation of the Falklands thirty years ago, back in 1982, which left thousands of mostly antipersonnel mines planted in areas considered strategic from a military point of view to defend the capital Stanley, but with which Islanders have had to learn to live for over three decades.

This next phase of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Explosive Ordnance and Landmine Clearance Programme is to be carried by BACTEC International Limited, who undertook the first two phases.

This is the third such phase of explosive ordnance and landmine clearance in the Falkland Islands. The first was carried out in 2010 with the successful clearance of areas that included Surf Bay, Goose Green and Sapper Hill, as well as land clearance on Stanley Common in 2012 that opened up a large area including the Stone Corral.

The scope of work for Phase Three is the clearance of one known, fenced, minefield in the part of Stanley Common that was released for public use earlier this year, as well as the clearance of the large (currently restricted) area just to the north and west of Mile Pond, which, it is suspected, contains two minefields.

Additionally, a further minefield just to the north of and bordering the Stanley to Goose Green Road, which was subjected to some clearance in 1982, is to be re-processed/cleared and the land released for public use.

Any available time will be used to carry out further land release to the east of Round Pond heading towards the Eliza Cove Road.

The BACTEC team will consist of 51 Zimbabwean demining personnel, most of who have already worked on Phases One and Two.

Phillimon Gonamombe will again be the Operations Manager and the project will be directed by Guy Lucas, who in 1982 set up the post conflict clearance and also directed the 2009/10 and 2012 programmes.

Guy has firsthand experience and knowledge of the Islands and the task at hand. Unlike the 2012 program, which focussed on land release, the 2013 program will focus on clearing known minefields to meet the UK Government commitment in accordance with the Ottawa Treaty, as well as doing some land release.

The BACTEC team is looking forward to returning in January to continue its work following up on 2012’s successful land release project.

BACTEC are pleased that Guy Marot, who was part of the team for Phase 1 in 2009/10, will be the Falkland Islands Demining Project Office (FIDPO) representative. (PN).-

55 comments Feed

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1 inthegutter (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:25 am Report abuse
I sincerely hope they send the bill to Buenos Aires.
2 Usurping Pirate (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:54 am Report abuse
Knowing the argentines , they will apply to a international court for the legal return of the land mines .
3 reality check (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:58 am Report abuse
Perhaps they could send an hockey player to recover them!
4 saphira (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:23 am Report abuse
Cue someone mumbling something about the 60 day regular mine story
5 Britworker (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:51 am Report abuse
Or better still, stack them up inside a gift wrapped Tomahawk and deliver them back to Buenos Aires as present. Merry Christmas from Falkland Islands, don't open until safely delivered through a chimney of the Casa Rosada!
6 Rufus (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 11:05 am Report abuse
@4 But there was a landmine story a couple of days ago.

Admittedly it related to the Chilean-Peruvian border being certified mine-free, but I can't find a post-olympics (or even post-Zylberberg) Falkland Islands landmine story. The last one I can see was in April...
7 cornishair (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 11:57 am Report abuse
Random question, isn't it illegal under international law to leave unmarked minefields laying around?
8 Phil H (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
Yes but their sloppy discipline and lack of military competence meant that even they did not know where they put them.
9 Anglotino (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse

Considering the invasion was also illegal; I'm beginning to think we might be onto a trend here.
10 Pete Bog (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:37 pm Report abuse
Won't Timmerman go to the UN complaining that the removal of the mines is in breach of Argentina's sovereignty claim?
11 falklandlad (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 01:45 pm Report abuse
Fantastic team of great guys doing an unthankful but great job. Well done.
12 Alexei (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 02:33 pm Report abuse
The current oligarchy that passes for a government in Argentina constantly lies that they did not support the 1982 Falkland Islands invasion, that it was the unrepresentative junta that was responsible. If that were the case, and the current shower had a crumb of decency; they would issue an unreserved apology and offer to pay for and clean up the mess they made, including offering to help clear their unmarked minefields. As usual, they cause problems, we solve them.
13 cornishair (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 03:10 pm Report abuse
10 Pete Bog, hells yea i'd love to see timmerman at the UN again, need a good laugh!.

8 & 9. Oh yea, an illegal invasion they (the Argentinean people) never said sorry for. Then there was the whole UN siding with us during the war, which seems to have been forgotten by all the “planks” on here :)
14 ChrisR (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 03:13 pm Report abuse
Let's hope that the clearance programme does not result in anyone getting maimed while they are doing it.

For AG of course, who GAF? They are beyond humanity and beyond hope.

Terrible position for reasonable people to be in like Simon68 and his family.
15 Musky (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 03:27 pm Report abuse
Argentina is a signatory to the UN GA resolution banning landmines which includes a clause persuant to the removal of landmines in the ground. Why isn't Argentina being true to its word and offering assistance to clear Falklands of landmines? Maybe their government are just plain liars.
16 GFace (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 05:03 pm Report abuse
@15. Argentina has “offered” to help remove them but given that they didn't disclose the location of all the mines via documentation (because they didn't document all of them) 1) you can understand that there is a lack of trust given their continued lack of remorse for their war crimes against the Falklanders and 2) you can understand that if there ~was~ a trust between the Islanders and the Argentines that they wouldn't trust them to do it right since they couldn't be bothered to do it right to begin with. Therefore, they've sent in people who, unfortunately, have demonstrated competence in their removal who can do the job right and have the trust of the locals. And since they continue to feel that deep in sound they had the right to do all those war crimes, even celebrating it this year with a commemorative coin, I suspect that the Islanders are fully justified. Honestly I don't see the point of the resolution to begin with since it boggles my mind a to why people would trust their enemies to make things safe for them after such prior disregard.
17 Steve-33-uk (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 05:44 pm Report abuse
'the Falklands do not want to be Argentine'

'What are the mysterious lights that appear in the Argentine Sea?'

'Ushuaia lose 18,000 tourists'
18 Shed-time (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 06:25 pm Report abuse
The fewer argentines on your soil.. the better. It's not as though they would actually clear any land-mines anyways, they'd just start erecting flags and making political statements and probably steal things.

They're predictable in their nonsense.
19 Conor J (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
Make the Argentines remove the mines and pay as well I say.
20 Steve-33-uk (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
Slightly off topic but this article has intrigued me.

Does anyone know what these lights are?
My best guess illegal squid fishing vessels, but there is a awful lot of them to produce light brighter than the whole of Uruguay? some of them are in FI waters.
21 Musky (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:39 pm Report abuse
@16 GFace
Good points raised. Cheers.
22 Monty69 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:04 pm Report abuse
20 Steve-33-uk

Squid boats use incredibly bright lights. The ones in FI waters wouldn't be there illegally. The ones on the high seas can do what they like, and Argentina has a policy of overfishing.
23 Steve-33-uk (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:16 pm Report abuse
@22 Monty69

Thanks again, that's second time you've answered my NASA photo questions ;)
24 briton (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:44 pm Report abuse
Actually we are surprised that Argentina has not asked us to return the mines to them,
After all, it is their property is it not..
25 Shed-time (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 11:38 pm Report abuse
The lights are quite likely to be St Elmo's Fire emitted from from the booms of Argentina's latest warships.

They're dead modern, like.
26 Steveu (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 01:24 am Report abuse
@10 I'm sure you're correct

I can hear it now ...
“they were our mines and they were planted on *our* territory”

jajajaja ;-)
27 ynsere (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:08 am Report abuse
Musky @ 15
The Argentines are very seldom true to their word. Ask the Uruguayans.
28 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:27 pm Report abuse
@15 “The only part of Argentine territory which is affected by anti-personnel mines is the Falkland Islands, but Argentina is denied access, because of their illegal occupation by the United Kingdom”

“The Argentine Republic states that in its territory, on the Malvinas Islands,
there are anti-personnel mines. This situation was brought to the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations when providing information within the framework of General Assembly resolutions 48/7; 49/215; 50/82; and 51/149 concerning “Assistance in mine clearance”.

”Since this part of the Argentine territory is under illegal occupation by the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Argentine Republic is effectively prevented from having access to the anti-personnel mines placed in the Malvinas Islands in order to fulfill the obligations undertaken in the present Convention.“

”Uruguayans FA legislators refused the invitation of the FI Ligislative Assembly to visit Malvinas”.
29 Zethee (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:52 pm Report abuse
“Since this part of the Argentine territory is under illegal occupation by the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Argentine Republic is effectively prevented from having access to the anti-personnel mines placed in the Malvinas Islands in order to fulfill the obligations undertaken in the present Convention.”


Yes. CLEARLY it's our fault the mines are there and you can't remove them. Haha.

That's some rubbish trolling, there.
30 Joe Bloggs (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:52 pm Report abuse
28 Islas Malvinas

I suggest you report the UK to the ICJ for its illegal occupation and have them removed in that case. If that fails, Argentina should remove them itself...
...oh hang on. We've been over all of that 1000 times on here. You boring person. Get over it.

Chuckle chuckle (using a haughty voice)
31 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:36 pm Report abuse
@30 You can suggest the UK to go to the ICJ if they´re so sure the islands are British.
MIN 16:08

BBC Reporter: “If you are so confident, why don´t you refer your case to the ICJ?”
Jan Cheek, member of the FI Colonial Lesilative Assembly: “I don´t know why that´s never been seriuosly suggested by neither side”.
32 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
Remove them! If the Islanders had not fenced them off and placed dirty great “Danger Mines” signs around them, these tossers could'nt even find the damn things, let alone remove them!!!
33 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:48 pm Report abuse
Chukle Chukle
34 Joe Bloggs (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:48 pm Report abuse
31 Islas Malvinas

We have no reason to go to the ICJ. We're happy the way things are. It is Argentina that is whining about it.

Chuckle chuckle haughtily

What do you think of the news of Queen Elizabeth land? We names a big chunk of Antarctica after our Beloved head of State. I bet you're happy for her and us. Hurrah, Queen Elizabeth!
35 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:53 pm Report abuse
@31 Then you´re happy living in a continent that does not recognize you as anythining else but a colony and iligal british administration in argentine territory? Are you really happy with that?

About Antarctica... what would I care what you call a piece of ice?
By the way a good name would be “Best Land to keep Queen Elizabeth alive and preserved for a few more years”.
36 Joe Bloggs (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:08 pm Report abuse
35 Islas Malvinas

Last time I checked we were 300 miles from your continent.

I knew you'd be pleased with us about QEII Land.
37 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:13 pm Report abuse
@36 If you´re away from OUR continent, then what is YOUR continent?
Is it the FI´s continent?

Chuckle Chukle
38 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:16 pm Report abuse
I do not suppose they give a Flying Ferk about what anyone else thinks about them. Are they happy about how they live, you deaf or daft or summat? they have told you often enough. Of course their bloody happy and they want to stay that way. That's why they do not want your lot getting their grubby little hands on their islands and ferkin it all up for them. Bloody ell, how many times do they need to tell you!!!!!
39 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:28 pm Report abuse
@38 Then this is what I´m saying. They´re extremely bloody happy not being recognized by their neighbours, having vessels carrying their ilegal flag prohibited in their neightbour ports, having their neighbours repeatedly saying those islands are argentine, having to send FI representatives to Central America and other countires to convince they islanders has the right of “self-determination” even when they´re only a bunch of people, many of which were born elsewhere (only a few are natives), even when some of these representatives that are trying to show the world they have righ to “self-determination” are born in the UK (quite a particular conception), having to show the world how economicaly autonomous they are, even when many of them are employees of the FI Company linked to London, having to convince the world how politicaly independent they are even when they have a Viceroy Governor chosen by London and many members of the Executive and Legislative Assembly being UK born. Happiness.

How optimist these guys are.
40 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:44 pm Report abuse
Not that, “only a few are natives,” line again.
41 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:51 pm Report abuse
@40 Yes. I mean born in the FI.

You keep talking about the 8 generations islanders have been on the islands. But those who have that many generations are the fewer.

We call it the “Self-determination” lie :)
42 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:03 pm Report abuse

1:2 To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

I do not see where it defines the meaning of “peoples.” Your lot apparently do.

What is it, a self determination lie, wow and you signed the charter.

It's all academic anyway, because after next March, the UN will recognise the Referendum result and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.
43 Joe Bloggs (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse

Grow some balls and do something guys. The world is laughing at your impotence.
44 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
@42 “the UN will recognise the Referendum”

45 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:13 pm Report abuse
Nice link, what is it, KFC receiving her daily briefing on the Falklands Islands?
46 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:16 pm Report abuse
@45 No. It´s the UN after knowing about the FI “Referendum”.
47 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:16 pm Report abuse
Wow, Banki got a sex change!!!!!!!
48 Islas Malvinas (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:17 pm Report abuse
@47 Hahaha that was funny
49 Joe Bloggs (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:18 pm Report abuse

That's CFK after being told that P&O has decided to cancel Argentina from its business plan. Maybe Aguello broke the news to her.
50 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:31 pm Report abuse
Reminds me of the first time I undressed in front of the wife!!!!!!!!
51 Pete Bog (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 03:03 pm Report abuse
“islanders has the right of “self-determination” even when they´re only a bunch of people, many ”

Please refer us to where in UN paperwork, a people only qualify as a people when they are above a certain population??

There are less than 100 people on Pitcairn Island whose family roots go back to the 1800s.

Are you saying the Pitcairn Islanders have no right to self-determination ?

Where in UN documentation does it say that people are not a people because there are only 4, 10, 20 30, 100, 1000, 2000, 2000 000 of them?

If you are complaining that a few thousand people cannot be a people, then how can you complain that the British threw off a military force in 1833, of less numbers than the present Falkland born Islanders (who were not part of the civilian population in the same way as the present British garrison is not part of the Falkland island population)?

Even though, as has been pointed out many times that the only civilians who left were a total of ELEVEN (ie not thousands), most who were not residents (only four were, two from what is now Uruguay (ie not what was to become Argentina), and two from Brazil (ie not what was to become Argentina).

And of course 22 stayed, half of which were from what is now geographically Argentina, and not all of these were born in the Falkland Islands, (ie they were implants from Buenos Aires, Ireland Scotland, Jamaica Uraguay Germany France etc and NO English people by the way at that point).

The Argentine perspective is that all of the civilian population were ejected which of course is a blatant lie . However if all 33 people had been ejected, most of which were not born on the Islands, according to you, even if the 33 had been born on the Islands that is not enough to form a 'people.' Therefore Argentina cannot complain about the military being ejected in 1833 (ie not the civilian population),because according to their own arguments they were not in enough quantity to be a' people.'
52 Falkland Islands (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 11:54 pm Report abuse
IS MALVEY: I bet my family was here before old Is malvy's family came over from italy or wherever in Europe they colonized argie land in BA. Oh and by the way, we settled Patagonia before any argie did, so maybe we should claim all land below that stinky City of BA. :) TE HE JA JA JA
53 lsolde (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 07:40 am Report abuse
@52 Falkland lslands,
Right on, bro.
Lets put in a claim for Sta Cruz & Chubut Provinces.
Wouldn't it be a hoot if the ICJ awarded them to us!
lt would be worth a king's ransom to see the look on KFC's excuse for a face.
54 Pete Bog (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 05:35 pm Report abuse
According to Argentine theory you have more right to Patagonia than the Argentines have.
Go on get your MLA's put in a claim just for a hoot, it'll cause Timmidman a seizure. (Wish I could find my copy of From Falklands to Patagonia by Mainwaring).
55 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
Genuine question, has anyone ever been harmed by any of these mines? Of course I'm in favour of them being removed I just can't remember that part of the issue ever being specifically mentioned. Also why is the team from Zimbabwe of all places?!

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