President asks Guyanese to trust gov’t, GDF amid ‘fear mongering’ and ‘unnecessary unease’


President Dr. Irfaan Ali has asked Guyanese to trust that the government is doing all it can to favourably resolve the border controversy with Venezuela and protect the country from any future aggressions from the Spanish-speaking nation.

He also said persons should not fall prey to any propaganda on social media or misinformation being spread elsewhere.

“…We should be very careful of not sensationalising this issue and coming up with the wrong assumptions and creating unnecessary unease,” the President said at a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Georgetown on Saturday.

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali

He believes that people should rely on official channels of communication and trust that the information received and being disseminated is “of exceptional standard.”

The President did, however, agree that a more robust communications strategy is needed to quell people’s concerns and provide factual information. He said the government will work alongside members of the local media corps to execute this strategy.

Responding directly to reports of residents in border communities being urged to move away, the President said that should not be the case. In fact, he sought to assure people that the government is taking all steps needed to guarantee Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“There is absolutely no reason to move from anywhere.

“That is the type of fear-mongering that people are pushing on social media but there is absolutely no reason (to move) and the Guyana Defence Force is working very steadily and as I said before I am confident in their ability, the work they are doing and the type of discussions we are having with our partners,” the Head of State said.

The border controversy is squarely before the ICJ and Guyana hopes for a final, binding settlement there that reaffirms the 1899 Arbitral Award that established the existing boundary between itself and Venezuela.

Essentially, Guyana wants the court to reaffirm that the Essequibo region is its own.

There are concerns, however, that Venezuela is pursuing a referendum on December 3 that may set the stage for an annexation of Guyana’s territory that is claimed by the Spanish-speaking nation. So, the Head of State told reporters that his government has been locked in robust engagements around the world. That includes at the diplomatic level, seeking recourse at the ICJ and even engaging military partners.

Those efforts aside, President Ali said he doesn’t believe Venezuela will act “recklessly.”

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