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Montevideo, May 26th 2024 - 02:15 UTC



Falklands celebrates completion of demining with a symbolic “Reclaim the Beach”

Saturday, October 24th 2020 - 09:50 UTC
Full article 24 comments
Minefield signs have been a familiar sight in Stanley and Camp for over 38 years; some members of the community having never known the Falklands without them.(Pic  by Fenix Insight) Minefield signs have been a familiar sight in Stanley and Camp for over 38 years; some members of the community having never known the Falklands without them.(Pic by Fenix Insight)

On Saturday 14 November 2020, the Falkland Islands community will be taking part in celebrations to mark the completion of the Islands-wide demining program after 38 years since the end of the 1982 conflict. The Falklands' Government has announced that activities will begin with an event to officially reopen Gypsy Cove/Yorke Bay, the final area of the Falklands to officially be declared mine-free.

The public is invited to assemble at the designated area at Gypsy Cove from 1pm, although please note that the road will be closed from 1:50pm in preparation for a demolition at 2pm. Marshals will direct traffic as parking will be restricted and people are asked to share vehicles to prevent congestion at the site, there will also be a free shuttle bus for anyone requiring transport to and from the public jetty on the day.

The event will begin with speeches from the Deputy Governor Alex Mitham, MLA Leona Roberts, Adam Ainsworth (CEO of SafeLane) and Guy Marot on behalf of the Demining Program Office. Once the speeches have concluded, things will literally proceed with a bang as the final landmines to be retrieved from the very last minefield clearance will be detonated.

Following this, the final fence will be officially opened and everyone will be invited to walk down to the beach for the first time since 1982. The Deputy Harbor master will also be inviting local mariners to form a flotilla offshore, at a safe distance from the demolition area.

‘Reclaim the Beach’ is open to everyone and represents a huge achievement which follows decades of hard, unrelenting and courageous work by many people, both from overseas and within the community. Minefield signs have been a familiar sight in Stanley and Camp for over 38 years, with some members of the community having never known the Falklands without them.

From 14 November 2020, Falkland Islanders will once again be able to enjoy unrestricted access to every corner of our country, which is something truly worth celebrating.

Opportunities to press the button on the final detonation and to open the final fence will be available to everyone via a charitable raffle – the proceeds of which will be shared between five local youth groups. There will also be a celebratory event later that evening at the FIDF club which will be open to all adults. More detailed information on the events, transportation arrangements and the raffle will be available shortly, but for the moment we are inviting you to ‘save the date’ and to take part in history.

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

Top Comments

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  • Roger Lorton

    “The only parts of Argentine territory affected by anti-personnel mines are the Malvinas Islands. ... However, Argentina is prevented from accessing those mines in order to comply with its obligations assumed under the Convention, as that territory, together with the South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, are illegally occupied by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and are the subject of a sovereignty dispute...despite the reiterated declarations of the United Nations and other regional and international forums, the United Kingdom continues to ignore the calls of the international community to resume bilateral negotiations aimed at finding a peaceful and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute …”

    UN Document A/C.1/73/PV.20 dated October 29, 2018.

    Oct 26th, 2020 - 03:19 am +3
  • Jo Bloggs

    A filthy Argentine legacy, gone. We are so grateful to the fabulous guys from Zimbabwe for their efforts over the past 11 years. What’s good to see also is the number of Zimbabweans who have decided to settle long-term in the islands with their families.

    Shame on you, Argentina, for laying those mines in the first place. Shows how little regard you actually do have for our islands and us.

    Oct 24th, 2020 - 09:52 am +2
  • Pugol-H

    There are two points to that:

    First, militaries are supposed to make and keep maps of minefields, so they can be cleared up afterwards, way too complicated for most Argy units, little better than Boy Scouts with guns.

    Second, for many years the Islanders sent the De-miners to clear other parts of the world first, where the mines were much more of a problem.

    Argentina’s contribution was, of course, to lay the mines and forget about them, until their own units had to retreat through them not knowing they were there, ouch payback is a bitch.

    Oct 25th, 2020 - 04:27 pm +2
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