By John Fowler (*) – The selective amnesia of successive Argentine governments never ceases to amaze. Last week, during universal rejoicing in the Falklands that the eleven year-long demining campaign had finally come to a successful conclusion, the Argentine Government was complaining about it in Geneva.58 comments
As anticipated, the Argentine government objected to the mines' clearance effort announced by the United Kingdom in Geneva for having been addressed “unilaterally in Argentine territory illegitimately occupied” and in violation of UN Resolution 3149 which calls on both sides to abstain from any unilateral action in the disputed territories.
The United Kingdom made the official presentation in Geneva before the 18th meeting of the States parties Antipersonnel mine ban Convention of the successful Falkland Islands Demining, an eleven-year program which culminated in the clearance of 122 minefields, and was celebrated by the Islands' community last Saturday 14 November.
The Falkland Islands have been cleared of deadly landmines laid during the 1982 conflict and will be celebrating the occasion with two major events on Saturday, November 14. The legacy of the war with the occupying Argentine forces had meant that large areas of the Islands, for 38 years, were previously off-limits.
United States president Donald Trump’s decision to relax restrictions on the U.S. military’s use of anti-personnel land mines was “completely unacceptable”, the European Union said on Tuesday in a rare formal criticism of Washington.
President Donald Trump on Friday lifted US restrictions on the deployment of landmines, saying a new generation of high-tech explosives would improve security for US forces. In the latest reversal of a policy of his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump gave the green light to so-called non-persistent landmines that can be switched off remotely rather than staying in the ground forever.
Colombian government and Marxist oriented guerrillas jointly announced an agreement to remove landmines and other explosives from the battlefield in a sign of progress in their two-year-old peace talks being held in Cuba.
The third phase of explosive ordnance and landmine clearance in the Falkland Islands is scheduled to begin next January and extend until March 2013 and is programmed to concentrate in the surrounding of the capital Stanley.
Belgium signed on Wednesday an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) to provide financial support for the program “Landmine Victim Assistance in Ecuador and Peru,” carried out by the OAS.
The president of the Chilean Lower House Foreign Affairs committee, Jorge Tarud said on Sunday that Chile is fully complying with the Ottawa Convention and with the timetable to finish de-mining tasks along the Peruvian border.