An international “inspection mission” around Alain Hubert and Belgian activity at the South Pole is due to be set up. It centres upon a dispute between the explorer and the federal authorities, which has been ongoing for some months with some frosty exchanges.
The countries present at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in 2016 expressly requested this mission. The Flemish daily publications Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaard detail this today (Thursday).
Alain Hubert, who was excluded from the management of the Princess Elisabeth Polar Station in Antarctica, is currently in dispute with the Belgian State.
The latter in particular accuses him of having illegally removed station equipment. Hubert himself accuses the authorities of having unilaterally terminated a binding contract and of appropriating equipment from his foundation.
The newspapers are saying that the dispute, as well as the rumours that the explorer may possibly be organising voyages to Antarctica, is of grave concern to the international community.
An inspection team directed by Norway should serve to clarify the situation, with the collaboration of the Belgian authorities.
This year, no scientific mission will go to the polar station, owing to this dispute. Alain Hubert is currently thought be on-site in Antarctica.