[www.inewsguyana.com] – The 11 ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the 14 ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) who successfully completed training in the use and maintenance of both the firearm destruction hydraulic shears and small arms ammunition-burning tank have been presented with their certificates.
During a simple ceremony which was held at the Ministry of Home Affairs, subject Minister; Clement Rohee presented the ranks with their certificate of completion.
Minister Rohee congratulated the ranks and he thanked the United Nations (UN) for affording the ranks the opportunity. The training was done under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).
“I take this opportunity to thank them and for administering the training to these competent ranks, we have benefitted greatly as the equipment has been used to destroy firearms under the watchful eye of UNLIREC.”
According to Minister Rohee, the partnership between Guyana and the UN on the subject of stock pile management is part of the greater goal of disarmament.
“Guyana has always adopted a stance of zero tolerance towards the arms trade, a growing phenomenal globally which has links to other offences such as drug trafficking.”
Hence the Minister said, Guyana has recognised the importance of being able to control the proliferation of weapons, ammunition and explosives as part of its goal of maintaining national security.
Further Minister Rohee said that in keeping with the administration’s desire to have an effective arms control regime, Guyana has subscribed to a number of international conventions related to the arms trade while at the same time it has been constantly seeking to upgrade legislation to make it more effective.
In addition to these measures, Minister Rohee underscored the importance of having the capability to eliminate weapons, which are no longer functional as they may end up in the wrong hands.
Meanwhile Commissioner of Police acting, Seelall Persaud in his remarks said the contribution of UNLIREC in the donation of the hydraulic shears and the training provided to the ranks represent a total capacity by the Guyana Police Force to perform the operation of firearm destruction.
According to Persaud, since the implementation, the force destroyed in excess of 6000 firearms, some that were seized years ago and others that have been rendered unserviceable.
Meanwhile Lieutenant Colonel Cargill Kyte, of the GDF also thanked the Government and UN for the initiative as it has assisted in boosting the capacity of the army.
“I would like to thank the government for us being able to participate and it’s a mean of safely disposing of obsolete weapons. I would like to conclude the UNLIREC baseline assessment that highlighted the numerous positives of the GDF with regards to firearms destruction and stock pile management and shows our continuous effort to meet international best practices.”
Colonel Kyte however, noted that the army still has a few areas of non compliance which can easily be resolved in the near future.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]