President David Granger: Guyanese, the National Security Committee has met twice in the aftermath of the riot at the Georgetown prison on the 9th July, which resulted in the almost total destruction of the buildings and the death of a prison warden.

The National Security Committee (NSC) received up to date reports on the death, destruction and displacement caused by the fire set by rioting prisoners.

The NSC has approved of the immediate implementation of a four part emergency plan which includes: the construction of temporary structures to safely and securely house prisoners in the short term and protect the population; the completion of a recovery operation to account for and accommodate every single prisoner; the implementation of legal measures to immediately reduce the prison population; and, importantly, the immediate recapture of those inmates who escaped custody.

The Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Prison Service and the Guyana Fire Service are working together to ensure public safety. A manhunt is being executed. Air and ground patrols are being conducted and vigilance has been heightened on roadways and at key points.

I commend our security forces which responded resolutely to this emergency under difficult circumstances to contain the situation and to limit the loss of life. They have been working around the clock.

I mourn the loss of Prison Warden, Odinga Wickham who was murdered in the execution of his duties and I extend condolences to his family. We will ensure the best medical attention is given to everyone else who received injuries in the riot.

The National Security Committee will be meeting again and will continue to implement immediate measures to ensure that the situation remains stable and secure and that there is a return to normalcy.

The Government is continuing to implement measures; particularly the major recommendation which were made by the Commission of Inquiry in the March, 2016 Prison Riot, these include the expansion of the infrastructure of the Mazaruni Prison.

The Government is committed to public safety and to the reform of the Guyana Prison Service.

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