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ICRC talks on DNA testing of Argentine war dead in the Falkland Islands cemetery

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, met representatives of the UK and Falkland Islands Governments in Geneva on 2 November to discuss the identification of the remains of unknown Argentine personnel from the 1982 conflict buried in the Argentine cemetery in Darwin, Falkland Islands.  The Falkland islands Government (FIG) had issued an earlier press release indicating that if identification were to take place it would have to be done with the FIG’s full agreement and involvement.  The ICRC gave full assurance of its impartiality in this, given Islander perceptions of its role in the 1982 conflict. 
Separately, an Argentine Government delegation met the ICRC President in Geneva on 6 November.  President Kirchner had sought ICRC assistance in facilitating the DNA testing of unknown Argentine remains in the Falklands in 2012 after pressure from some Argentine veterans and families of the fallen.  The issue has, however, been deeply sensitive in Argentina since not all families and veteran associations have been in favour of disturbing the remains of unidentified soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery.  
If testing is to go ahead, the next step would be for the ICRC to send a technical assessment mission to the Falkland Islands with the agreement of the UK and Falkland Islands Governments.

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