GDF should be ready to defend Guyana – Commander in Chief charges

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Commander-in-Chief and President of Guyana David Granger has urged the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to remain in a state of readiness to “deter aggression, defend national sovereignty and ensure the development of our country as a safe, secure and strong state.”

The Head of State led the charge Thursday at State House as the GDF commences its Annual Officers’ Conference.

President Granger said Guyana has seen aggression from two of its neighbours – Venezuela and Suriname – in the past and present.

The recent act of aggression came from Venezuela on December 22, 2018, when a Venezuelan Navy corvette made a hostile incursion into Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone 144 kilometres from the boundary that separates Guyana from Venezuela.

“Officers, Guyana has been victim, always, to claims on its territory despite international recognition of its land mass, its territorial borders, its territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone. Our territory is populated by Guyanese citizens and its resources are for them; they form part of our national patrimony.” President Granger said.

President David Granger addresses Officers of the Guyana Defence Force at this year’s Annual Officers’ Conference [Ministry of the Presidency photo]
He added, “Guyana remains committed to ensuring that the Caribbean and continent of South America remain a zone of peace. It subscribes to the peaceful settlement of disputes and will never do anything to endanger international peace.”

According to the President, the GDF is obligated to secure the state and safeguard the entire territory from invasion, incursion and insurrection.

He acknowledged that the Force faces numerous challenges in protecting Guyana’s territory given the fact that Guyana has an elongated coastline, land and river borders of nearly 3,000 km, the expansive hinterland and extensive network of waterways, all of which constrain the ability to control Guyana’s territory effectively.

As such, he noted that their ability will be boosted this year with air, intelligence, surveillance, engineer and communication.

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of the GDF Brigadier Patrick West said the force will continue on its upward journey of transformation and will do so cognizant of the threats that seek to impede this process.
The Annual Conference is being held under the theme “Effective Transformation for Total National Defence.”

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