The statement attributed to the Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Brigadier Mark Phillips in relation to survey rights to 2,200,000 acres granted to a company with powerful Brazilian ties raises a number of issues. The Chief-of-Staff is reported to have said: “The army will remain committed and adherent to the policies of the government. ‘The government has a responsibility for governing the country and determining what is best, so the GDF will respect any decisions made for the country.’”
While democracies accept the importance of having the military answerable to the civilian administration, a constitutional amendment in 2001 defined the country’s defence and security policy, the role of the Defence and Security Forces in relation to that policy, and the allegiance of the members of those forces. These are set out, perhaps not by accident, in Article 197 A of the constitution, the same article that deals with the judicature.
Continue reading The leadership of the GDF has a constitutional duty to raise the Muri permission formally with President Ramotar