Guyana army challenged

Georgetown, Guyana, June 29, 2006 – Commander-in-Chief of the Guyana Armed Forces and President of this South American nation, Bharrat Jagdeo, yesterday challenged army officers to help regain the public’s confidence in the security forces by effectively fighting the growing crime wave.

Jagdeo, addressing the Officer’s Mid-Year Retreat at the Officers’ Mess, Camp Ayanganna in Georgetown, identified several areas which he said will help to restore that belief, including through the recovery of weapons stolen from the headquarter’s bond earlier this year and the arrest of the perpetrators of the Agricola killings and the killers of the agriculture minister, Sataydeow Sawh, and his family.

“To regain and inspire the confidence of the public, we have to achieve more on those and other criminal matters,” the President told the officers, including Chief-of-Staff Brigadier Edward Collins. “We would never rest satisfied until we have eradicated from our midst the criminal gangs and successfully confronted organized crime in all of its manifestations in Guyana.”

Jagdeo also took the opportunity to do some politicking on his own, said that the People’s Progressive Party’s has “confronted the criminals and we will continue to provide the material, financial and moral support needed by law enforcement agencies.”
And he slammed the main opposition Peoples Progressive Party Civic and other critics of the administration, who he said was trying to link his government with narco-traffickers as part of an electioneering ploy.

“My administration believes that the security forces have to pursue all criminals – narcotic traffickers as well the armed bandits. To this end, the joint services has been given full support and additional resources to apprehend these criminals,” stated Jagdeo.

While adding, “I want you to ask the chief of staff or the commissioner of police if either of them was prevented from taking action against anyone, including drug dealers or any person involved in any criminal enterprise. The answer will be an unequivocal no.”

The President also stressed that his administration is “committed to the execution of an elections which accords with the highest international standards.”

A general elections date has yet to be set here through it is constitutionally due in August.

But Jagdeo said that since violence in recent times, been associated with the rejection of elections results in Guyana, government will mobilize the security forces fully and all the scenarios likely to be encountered during the elections period will be rehearsed. (

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