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Falklands demining operations at Port Harriet Farm, Mt Longdon and Goose Green

Monday, November 13th 2017 - 07:06 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Mobilization started last September and the first group of deminers have gone through a period of training and then deployed on operations Mobilization started last September and the first group of deminers have gone through a period of training and then deployed on operations

DYNASAFE Bactec recently returned to the Falkland Islands to continue demining operations, namely the completion of Phase 5a by March 18. “The break of around 10 weeks has allowed us all to recharge our batteries to finish these remaining tasks,” said Project Manager Julius Unsung.

 Mobilization started on September 10 and the first group of deminers have gone through a period of training and then deployed on operations in the Port Harriet Farm, Mt Longdon and Hearnden Water minefields.

Only a few days have gone by and already the teams have uncovered over 60 anti-personnel mines which will be destroyed in the very near future said Mr Unsung.

He added: “Our second group finished their refresher training on Wednesday and will be joining their comrades in the next day or so, going operational by the end of the week. These teams will boost the work on the Longdon minefield complex as well as completing the clearance of Goose Green and carrying out the remaining Technical Survey of Fox Bay in preparation for future clearance.”

Despite the overall small number of mines in the Falklands – compared with somewhere like Kuwait, which is only one-and-a-half times larger in size, but has an estimated five million mines – there has been an extensive demining operation in progress since 2009 to remove the estimated 20,000 anti-personnel and 5,000 anti-vehicle mines planted by the Argentine military during the 1982 conflict.

Funded through the UK Foreign Office, and in response to the obligation to remove mines in their territories under the terms of the Ottawa Treaty, the clearance of mines in the Falklands finished is currently in Phase 5a, after finishing Phase 4 which saw minefields reduced to 82. There were 146 immediately after the end of war in 1982.

Last July it was revealed that the British government has spent £ 16.604.385 in demining operations in the Falkland Islands since 2009. The information was confirmed by the Foreign Office following a (May 2017) request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

”This figure includes spend during the first financial year (FY16/17) of Phase 5 of demining, which the UK is only currently part way into – phase 5 commenced in October 2016”.

BACTEC teams with experts from Zimbabwe have been working in the demining operations, and according to then Falklands' lawmaker, MLA Michael Poole, the Islands are expected to be rid of mines by the end of the decade. (Penguin News/MP)

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  • Livepeanuts

    The Argentine Armed Forces of 1982 have so much to answer for, as with the indoctrination of the school children by the teachers of the very young and have done incalculable damage to Argentina, costing thousands and thousands of their own people's lives and those of other people.
    The usurping Argentine military of 1982 had no ethics when it came to mines in a foreign land, lucky for all mankind, that the dictatorship was defeated on the Falklands, stopping the murders in Argentina (torture, death flights and kidnapping the victims babies); and an even worse war with Chile involving several other countries which was averted on the Falklands by restoring the Queen's Peace there. If not the consequences would have been so much more tragic across the entire region.
    It is so wrong to try and rescue the reputation of these mass murderers by presenting them as fighting a “just war” for the Fatherland, when moved by total failure, fear of the courts and despair they attacked the peaceful and unarmed Falklands people. The attack was headed by the criminals of ESMA Chiachino on the Falklands and Astiz on South Georgia, and now the teachers talk about the mythic “heores”! Some, perhaps many, like the thousands murdered in Argentina were more like martyrs of the Argentine Armed Forces Dictators, those who survived torture and near death in Argentina don’t have pensions and don’t go about schools confusing the kids.

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 12:36 pm +5
  • R. Ben Madison

    The Falkland Islands should send a symbolic bill to Buenos Aires every time they have to hire people to dig up the mines the Argentines should be paying to dig up.

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 03:13 pm +3
  • portman

    and the mines scattered from helicopters by the argies as reported by bbc war correspondent brian hanrahan have still to be located and cleared!

    Nov 14th, 2017 - 10:42 pm +2
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