Suriname must state its current position
Invasion plot …
- Foreign Minister
Government says that it has alerted several key international and regional organizations of the recent statements made by Surinamese officials that they had intended to invade Guyana in the 1990s over the disputed New River Triangle in Berbice.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in Parliament on Monday warned that such statements should not signal a return to “an adventurous posture” by the Republic of Suriname.
“The use of force would indeed be a breach of international law that will require Guyana to take action to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Minister said.
Guyana has taken note of the continued agitation in Suriname for possession of Guyana’s territory and the fact that the current Surinamese government has not sought to clarify that it opposes the use of force against the territorial integrity of Guyana.
Concerns about the admitted instructions and the failure of the Surinamese government to give reassurances that the use of force is not an embracing option, were echoed by Minister Rodrigues-Birkett during a recent meeting with the Surinamese Ambassador in Georgetown.
“In the face of the admittance, the onus is on the Surinamese government to make a public statement to that effect or else Guyana and the international community will have to interpret that silence as an indication that the use of force is still a component of the Republic of Suriname’s policy towards Guyana,” she said.
In 1936, the Tri-Junction point at which British Guiana (Guyana) Dutch Guiana (Suriname) and Brazil meet were identified by the governments of the federative republic of Brazil, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
The identified tri-junction point recognises the boundary as being on the headwaters of the Cutari River, thereby recognising the new River Triangle as being within the sovereign territory of Guyana.
She argued that in spite of the act, the successive Surinamese governments have sought to take possession of Guyanese territory, including an armed invasion in 1969 ending with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) expelling the Surinamese military from the area.
Reference was made by the Foreign Affairs Minister to the public statements reported in the Surinamese press confirming that in the year 2000, the Suriname Government plotted to invade the new river triangle during the time when Guyana’s exclusive economic zone was violated and the CGX rig was forcibly removed from the Guyanese waters.
“Such an act, would have also been in breach of international law just as the tribunal that heard the maritime dispute between Guyana and Suriname ruled that the removal of the CGX rig by Suriname and I quote ‘constituted a threat of the use of force in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Charter and general International law,’” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said.