Georgetown, Guyana – (September 23, 2015) Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Mark Phillips, MSM has said that there is no increase in the number of GDF troops at the Guyana Venezuela border in light of the recent increase of activity by the Venezuelan armed forces.
Brigadier Phillips, in response to media reports, following today’s Post Cabinet Press Briefing, which reported that additional troops had been deployed, told the Ministry of the Presidency that the GDF always has a presence along the border. “The GDF continues to monitor the border with the current troops on the frontier,” he said.
However, troop levels have not yet been increased. Earlier, at the post Cabinet Press Briefing, the Chief of Staff said, “Our troops at Base Command Stevenson, Timehri, our troops at Camp Ayangana and our troops at other coastal and inland training locations are already briefed and alerted and remain in a state of readiness to support our activities on the border.”
Speaking on usual troop deployment along the border the Brigadier said, “The GDF remains ready to define aggression on our border with Venezuela. We have troops deployed at various locations. The important ones in this sense are location Eteringbang, location Kaikan, and we have several observation posts along the Cuyuni River and we continue to monitor the activities by the Venezuelan armed forces on our frontiers.”
The chief of staff said, “Our deployment is geared to define aggression and acts of incursion of our border and we remain ready to deploy additional troops and equipment, if need be, to those locations.”
Reporting on what has been observed so far, he said that a build-up in troops on the Venezuelan side had been observed about one week ago but that over the past weekend, there was a noticeable increase to about 200 troops in the area.
“What is unusual is the deployment of military boats with machine guns in the Cuyuni River; the Cuyuni River is inclusive of Guyana’s border. To deploy armed boats in the Cuyuni River is an affront to our sovereignty… The deployment remains, as I speak in position and we continue to observe the troops; just over 200 at San Martin and Ankoko Island and the movement of those boats between Ankoko Island and San Martin,” the Chief of Staff said.
The Brigadier reiterated that the Guyana Venezuela Border is a settled border and the duty of the GDF at this time is to define aggression along this settled border with Venezuela.