The Argentine government has confirmed that in coming days it will be meeting with Malvinas families and UK authorities to organize another humanitarian trip to the Falkland Islands so that the next of kin of the 18 recently identified Argentine soldiers can visit, honor and pray at their graves in the Argentine military cemetery near Darwin.
The trip will be similar to the historic visit in March 2017, and is scheduled for early March, since weather conditions are still bearable, and distant from April 2nd, anniversary of the Argentine invasion, a highly sensitive issue for the Islanders.
Coincidently the Falkland Islands government last Friday in a brief release referred to the situation, saying that following the DNA work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Falklands in 2017, a further 18 previously unknown Argentine soldiers have been identified, bringing the total number of identified soldiers to 106.
Elected lawmaker MLA Barry Elsby, Chair of the Legislative Assembly was quoted saying that the Falkland Islands Government has been working with the ICRC and others since 2015 to identify the unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Islands, and during that time have continued to ensure that Falklands meet their commitment to the Geneva Convention which requires that persons lost in combat are identified where possible.
Furthermore the Falklands government recognizes that the families of the 18 newly identified solders might wish to visit the 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.”
Finally MLA Barry Elsby recalls that in March 2018, the Falklands elected 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, thus any future visit would be managed using the same approach.
Likewise UK Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Mark Kent twitted that it was a very important announcement, the proposal of another humanitarian flight next March. We are going to discuss the issue with the families of the fallen and with the Argentine government. We are going ahead with the Humanitarian Project”.