The minefields around the Falkland Islands capital, Stanley, dating back to the South Atlantic conflict, have remained largely untouched for most of nearly 35 years, due to the restrictions in place around access to the minefields. Over this time, they have become a haven for Falkland’s wildlife.
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.
The BACTEC demining team was welcomed back to the Falkland Islands with a reception last Tuesday evening, hosted by the recently arrived Governor Nigel Phillips at Government House.
Chile has cleared 72% of minefields in its territory, and expects to have finished the task by March 2020, according to the head of the country's De-mining Committee Army Colonel Rodrigo Ventura.
Explosive mines planted by retreating Argentine forces as Royal Marines stormed the Falklands during the 1982 conflict are still being cleared on the Islands, 33 years later, according to a report credited to David Wells from Westernmorningnews.
The government of Mozambique is expected to officially declare the country free of landmines shortly after the British mine clearance charity The HALO Trust confirmed it had destroyed the last mine on its last known minefield.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Tuesday the designation of renowned actor Daniel Craig as the first UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards. In a brief ceremony held at UN Headquarters, the Secretary-General thanked Mr. Craig for his commitment to support the UN’s vision of a world free from the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war.
The Falkland Islands program to clear mines planted by the invading Argentine forces in 1982, is scheduled to take a break at the end of April, following a very successful task all along summer according to Guy Marot, Program Manager for the Falkland Islands Demining Program Office, as reported in the FIG's edition of February.
Argentina and Chile on Monday will hold a ceremony certifying that the Chilean territory of Tierra del Fuego has been completely swept of mines, dating back to the late seventies, and in accordance with the 1999 Ottawa Convention commitments.
The Falkland Islands is set to begin another demining and ground clearance activity next week at Minefield number 59 at Wall Mountain on East Falkland.