FAL169 Demining Sets: Set mint
At the end of hostilities in 1982 British Forces made considerable efforts to locate and clear mines and booby traps. Unfortunately, the efforts were very costly. Three soldiers suffered serious injury within the first three weeks of clearance and two others were injured in 1983. Following this, the UK government decided to stop clearance and fence off all suspect areas until such time as technology and processes had evolved that would reduce risk. 151 areas were identified as hazardous, which initial work then reduced to 122. Argentina estimated that several thousand anti-personnel mines (AP) and anti-vehicle (AV) mines had been laid. From 1982 to 2009 some mines were destroyed in minefields by the UK military’s Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment using remote controlled equipment.
Mine clearance was completed in October 2020. The clearance teams, with their Zimbabwean deminers, have destroyed over 10,000 AP mines and 1,700 AV mines along with 22 cluster bomb submunitions and over 370 booby traps and assorted items of unexploded ordnance (excluding small arms ammunition). This has resulted in the release of over 23,000,000m2 (2,338 hectares) of safe ground back to the community that had been prohibited from using many beaches and areas close to the capital, Stanley, and the main populated settlements.
In 1997 the United Kingdom, alongside 121 other nations, signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, also known as the Ottawa Convention, which prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and commits signatories to removing such mines from territories over which they have jurisdiction or control. To that end the United Kingdom restarted clearance work in 2009 selecting SafeLane Global Ltd (previously known as BACTEC Ltd) to carry out the clearance work and Fenix Insight Ltd to provide the Demining Programme Office, responsible for monitoring the progress, quality, safety and environmental aspects of the work.
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