The Falkland Islands government said in a release that if the families of the 18 newly identified Argentine soldiers might wish to visit the Falklands in March, we would support this, as part of the humanitarian obligations, in much the same way the Islands facilitated the DNA process.
The release states that ”Further to previous DNA work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Falkland Islands in 2017, a further 18 previously unknown Argentine soldiers have been identified. This brings the total number of identified soldiers to 106 since efforts began”.
Speaking of these latest developments, MLA Barry Elsby, Chair of the Legislative Assembly said: “The Falkland Islands Government has been working with the ICRC and others since 2015 to identify the unknown Argentine soldiers buried here. During that time we have continued to ensure that we meet our commitment to the Geneva Convention which requires that persons lost in combat are identified where possible.
“We recognize that, following these recent developments, the families of the 18 newly identified solders might wish to visit the Falkland Islands to pay their respects and see their relative’s grave with a new headstone with their name on it. Should they wish to visit in early March then we would support this and consider it part of upholding our humanitarian obligations, in much the same way as when we facilitated the DNA process.”
In March 2018, the Falkland Islands Government facilitated a visit by the families of 88 previously identified soldiers. This was a solemn yet successful occasion which balanced the need of the families to show their respects and take part in ceremonies of remembrance, as well as accepting the sensitivities of the local community. Any future visit would be managed using the same approach.