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Falklands' “full agreement and involvement”, for any Argentine cemetery remains identification

Tuesday, October 27th 2015 - 06:36 UTC
Full article 120 comments
MLA Summers is scheduled to meet with the President of the ICRC, Mr. Peter Maurer, next week in Geneva, to seek assurances from the ICRC MLA Summers is scheduled to meet with the President of the ICRC, Mr. Peter Maurer, next week in Geneva, to seek assurances from the ICRC
Argentina has contacted UK about the possibility of DNA identification taking place on the remains of unknown former combatants buried at Darwin. Argentina has contacted UK about the possibility of DNA identification taking place on the remains of unknown former combatants buried at Darwin.
The Falkland Islands' Government has been closely consulted by the UK Government on this, though no direct request from Argentina has been received The Falkland Islands' Government has been closely consulted by the UK Government on this, though no direct request from Argentina has been received
It is understood that the Red Cross (ICRC) had been assisting Argentina with their proposals for some time before Argentina raised the issue with the UK. It is understood that the Red Cross (ICRC) had been assisting Argentina with their proposals for some time before Argentina raised the issue with the UK.

“If any identification is to take place of combatants buried in the Falkland Islands, it would have to be done with the full agreement and involvement of the Falkland Islands Government”, said the local government in a Monday release from Stanley.

 This comes in reply to a recent Malvinas veterans march in Buenos Aires demanding forensic access to begin DNA sample extractions of the remains at Darwin cemetery.

The release also mentions that next week Falklands lawmaker MLA Mike Summers will be meeting with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, in Geneva, to seek assurances from the ICRC of its understanding of the role FIG would have to play, and to invite the ICRC to explain a) their activities on this project to date; and b) how they can gain the confidence of Falkland Islanders that they would have a strictly neutral position in any supervisory role they might play.

The Falklands' government also recalls that it remains committed to its humanitarian obligations. FIG’s engagement with the ICRC is part of this sensitive humanitarian process.

The full release follows:

Members of the Public will be aware that the Government of Argentina (GoA) earlier this year contacted the UK Government about the possibility of DNA identification taking place on the remains of unknown former combatants buried at Darwin. Our Government has been closely consulted by the UK Government on this, though we have received no direct request from GoA.

FIG has always made clear that it remains committed to its humanitarian obligations and extends its sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives.

It is understood that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been assisting GoA with their proposals for some time before GoA raised the issue with the UK.

The Geneva Convention sets down the requirements on Convention signatories to enable the identification and proper burial of all persons lost in combat, and the provisions for repatriation. It is the position of FIG and the UK Government that if any identification is to take place of combatants buried in the Falkland Islands, it would have to be done with the full agreement and involvement of the Falkland Islands Government.

If the ICRC is to have a role to play it is important that it understands and accepts the Constitutional arrangements between the UK and the Falkland Islands, and acknowledges the formal role that FIG would have to take in any identification process that might take place in our jurisdiction.

MLA Summers will therefore meet with the President of the ICRC, Mr. Peter Maurer, next week in Geneva, to seek assurances from the ICRC of its understanding of the role FIG would have to play, and to invite the ICRC to explain a) their activities on this project to date; and b) how they can gain the confidence of Falkland Islanders that they would have a strictly neutral position in any supervisory role they might play.

The UK Government is considering carefully the approach made by the Government of Argentina and has consulted FIG on how to respond. FIG’s engagement with the ICRC is part of this sensitive humanitarian process. FIG will review its position after the meeting next week.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • gordo1

    Nothing could be clearer! Argentina - speak to the islanders!

    Oct 27th, 2015 - 07:23 am 0
  • Frank

    I think this will be the last we hear of this issue for some time.......

    Oct 27th, 2015 - 08:57 am 0
  • GALlamosa

    That all seems fairly clear.

    Oct 27th, 2015 - 10:13 am 0
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