GDF yet to brief parliamentarians on border security


President David Granger is yet to deliver on his promise to have the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) brief parliamentarians on its heightened border security measures and Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo is very much concerned.

“We’ve received nothing from Granger. He’s gone silent. He just said that in passing after being pressured as to why he is not treating this as a national issue, addressing the people of Guyana or the parliament,” the Opposition Leader said during his press conference today, which he was forced to host outdoors because of a prolonged power outage.

After visits to several interior communities sharing the border with Venezuela, President Granger undertook to inform the parliamentary committee on security about the Government’s border security plans.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces made this announcement since late February, however, the parliamentary opposition said they have not been informed of when this brief will take place.

Jagdeo noted with concern that after much delay, there was a sitting of the National Assembly just yesterday (February 15, 2018) but there was no mention of anything remotely related to the border security and issues surrounding the controversy with Venezuela. He disclosed that a next sitting is scheduled for April 26, 2018, but still, there is nothing on the matter on the order paper.

The Opposition Leader had hoped that the Government would have brought a resolution to the National Assembly for all Members of Parliament (MPs) to support or to have the Head of State deliver a special address to the nation.

“They are treating the border issue callously and in a partisan manner,” Jagdeo commented.

On February 27, 2018, President Granger informed the media in a video release from his office that on February 22, 2018, he instructed the GDF to hold a meeting with the parliamentarians.

The Oversight Committee on the Security Sector is chaired by the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and includes Ministers Basil Williams, Noel Holder, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, and opposition members, Clement Rohee, Joseph Hamilton, Dr Bheri Ramsarran and Harry Gill.

Soldiers have increased their presence on the border with Venezuela and the Head of State has visited communities near the border to engage residents on the controversy with the Spanish-speaking nation.

The Opposition Leader had warned that there is a threat to the country’s national security and had urged the President to inform the nation on the issue.

The GDF has already implemented 24-hour security in the village of Kaikan, located in Region seven and it has set up a new patrol base in the community of Whitewater, Region One.


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