Argentina and the UK together with the International Committee of the Red Cross subscribed on Thursday in Geneva the international instruments to advance in the search and identification of a possible interment at the Teal Inlet, in the Falkland Islands, that could hold remains of non identified Argentine combatants.
According to the release from the Argentine foreign ministry the agreement was signed on Thursday by Argentine ambassador before International Organisms, Federico Villegas, his British peer, Simon Manley and the vice-president of the ICRC, Giles Carbonier.
The release also points out that Argentina continues to work bilaterally with the intermediation of the ICRC to advance in this new task which will take place next August when the second phase of the Humanitarian Plan Project referred to the grave C 1 10 at the Argentine military cemetery in the Falkland Islands.
The signing of these instruments complements the Second HPP which was subscribed last 18 March 2021 when Argentina and UK agreed that the ICRC goes ahead with the identification of Argentine combatants, non identified buried at the C.1.10 grave.
The release points out that according to these instruments, Argentina and the UK agree to the implementation of the sovereignty formula in Paragraph 2 from the 19 October 1989 Joint Declaration to all negotiations undertaken for this phase of the humanitarian initiative, to the instruments reached and its consequences. As in previous cases this new humanitarian task will count with the invaluable experience of members from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team
With the same humanitarian perspective of the first phase initiated in 2012, these accords have the purpose of identifying the remains of Argentine soldiers who fought for the recovery of national sovereignty in the Malvinas and lost their lives in the Islands, as well as give answers to their families as to where they can honor their loved ones
The possibility of finding an interment at Teal Inlet, where in 1982 a field hospital had been set up, was informed by UK to Argentina last May, concludes the release.
As can be expected with Cristina Kirchner again running the show in Argentina, not a word is mentioned in the release to the Joint Communiqué of 13 September 2016, agreed between Argentina and UK, also known as the Foradori/Duncan communiqué, and which was the springboard for the ICRC Humanitarian Plan Project that finally helped identify 115 of 121 unmarked graves at the Argentine Military Cemetery in the Falklands.
It is also significant to remember Point 10 of the Foradori/Duncan communiqué which referred to the South Atlantic.
In a positive spirit, both sides agreed to set up a dialogue to improve cooperation on South Atlantic issues of mutual interest. Both governments agreed that the formula on sovereignty in paragraph 2 of the Joint Statement of 19 October 1989 applies to this Joint Communiqué and to its consequences. In this context it was agreed to take the appropriate measures to remove all obstacles limiting the economic growth and sustainable development of the Falkland Islands, including in trade, fishing, shipping and hydrocarbons. Both parties emphasized the benefits of cooperation and positive engagement for all concerned.
In accordance with the principles set out in the 14 July 1999 Joint Statement and Exchange of Letters, both sides agreed that further air links between the Falkland Islands and third countries would be established. In this context they agreed the establishment of 2 additional stops per month in mainland Argentina, one in each direction. The specific details will be defined.
”Both delegations expressed their full support for a DNA identification process in respect of unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery. Discussions on this sensitive humanitarian issue will be taken forward in Geneva on the basis of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) assessment supplemented by bilateral discussions as required. Both sides agreed that the wishes of the families concerned were paramount.
Both sides agreed to establish a date for a fuller meeting as soon as possible: .
As to events in the Falklands it must also be mentioned that Falkland Islands' Chief Police Officer Superintendent Jeff McMahon is currently heading an inquiry to help find the remains of Argentine soldiers who are still unaccounted for and maybe in unmarked interments in the north of East Falkland at a place called Teal Inlet.
Supt McMahon was interviewed by Charles Graham, from Wigan Today, and said that investigations are at an early stage, but credible evidence has been presented which suggests up to 20 bodies were interred near the Teal Inlet bay. A 50 by 50 meters space has been marked for possible diggings in the future.
It has been alleged that the fallen soldiers were interred near to a site where medical waste - included severed combatants’ limbs - was buried, and while it was done with dignity and a religious ceremony, no markers were put there, and if any documents were sent back to Britain describing the site, then they have so far failed to surface.
So part of Supt McMahon’s inquiry is to appeal to veterans of the South Atlantic conflict and any other witnesses to come forward with information that might corroborate the claims - or otherwise.
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