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Falklands' landmines clearance feasibility study completed

Friday, November 23rd 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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The United Kingdom and Argentina announced this week in Jordan the completion of a joint feasibility study on the clearance of landmines in the Falkland Islands.

The study, of which the main element is a field survey conducted by Cranfield University, concludes that mine clearance in the Falkland Islands is possible, but will present significant technical challenges and risks, including those related to the possible environmental impact. The study was concluded last month. The statement was delivered last November 18 by Philip Tissot, Deputy Head of the UK Delegation to the 8th Meeting of States Parties (8MSP) to the Otttawa Convention (Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel mines and their Destruction) which was held in Jordan from November 18 to 22. According to the Foreign Office in consultation with the Falkland Islands government the UK will now actively consider the options for clearance presented in the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study was made available on Tuesday 20 November on the Convention's website, www.apminebanconvention.orgIn his statement Mr. Tissot said the UK and Argentina embarked on a joint project several years ago to conduct a study into the feasibility of de-mining the Falkland Islands – the anti-personnel mines and other unexploded ordnance being a legacy of the conflict there in 1982. Since then 117 mined areas have been clearly marked. "Fortunately this has had very little impact on the local community as there have been no civilian casualties and there is no economic necessity to use most of the contaminated land", he added. Finally Mr Tissot publicly expressed sincere appreciation to the government of Argentina for its cooperation on this project over the past 9 years, a "long and complex journey that has had to overcome significant difficulties", but in spite of the time taken "we consider the end product to be a good one". The joint project has been conducted under a "sovereignty umbrella".

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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