GDF still probing Venezuelan army invasion, abuse of miners -Phillips

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

ARMY[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) is still probing the recent Venezuelan invasion where several civilian Guyanese at a landing in the Amakura, North West District were allegedly beaten by members of the Venezuelan soldiers on Friday, June 27.

This is a location that is near the border Guyana shares with Venezuela.

Chief- of- staff, Mark Phillips told iNews during a telephone interview that he is still awaiting the report which has to be submitted to the Office of the President.

Commander of the Armed Forces, Donald Ramotar will likely make the decision as to what course of action should be taken. However, Phillips could not say how much of an impact the army will have in the President’s decision.

The Chief – of – Staff said the team which was sent into the area to investigate the matter will return to base by today or tomorrow. At the President’s recent Press conference he noted that he is awaiting a more definitive word on the matter and did not divulge further.

Chief - of - Staff of the GDF, Mark Phillips.
Chief – of – Staff of the GDF, Mark Phillips.

According to reports, there was an altercation between Venezuelan soldiers and a number of Guyanese civilians on Friday at “Bruk Up Falls” and they were held captive at the Tucupita Delta on the Venezuelan side after being taken there by the Venezuelan soldiers.

The civilians were suspected to be trading in gold and other material with the Venezuelans.

In September of 2013, the Guyana Defense Force launched a probe to determine whether its soldiers guarding a border base at Eteringbang, blundered in allowing a group of Venezuelans to enter Guyana in August 2013.

Venezuela is claiming a large swath of Essequibo; however, the issue has been rearing its head from time to time but took backseat under the administration of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez. Chavez had agreed to have the matter settled by a UN Good Office process.

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