CARICOM should consider deploying a military observation mission to Guyana – Prof. Kirton

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In the midst of escalating tensions between Guyana and Venezuela, Professor Mark Kirton, an expert in International Relations, has emphasized the critical need for immediate regional and international support to safeguard Guyana’s territorial integrity.

Venezuela reinvigorated its claims to the Essequibo territory over the past several weeks after being irked by Guyana’s maiden bid round. The new wave of aggression includes threats and the posting of Venezuelan military at the shared border. The Nicolas Maduro-led regime also plans to hold a referendum on December 3 that seeks legitimacy for the annexation of the Essequibo region. Guyana has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for measures to block this move. 

Professor Mark Kirton delivered his presentation on “Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy: Perspectives From Guyana” at Trinidad and Tobago’s Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies on November 21.

Addressing a panel discussion titled, “Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy: Perspectives from Guyana” at Trinidad’s Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies on November 21, Dr. Kirton advocated for decisive actions to address the growing threat faced by Guyana.

“It can be argued that given the current unprecedented level of aggression and the statements related to possible armed intervention and annexation, Guyana should immediately approach the United Nations Security Council to inform that body,” stated Dr. Kirton, citing Article 34 of the United Nations Charter.

He underscored that such actions fall within the framework of the Charter, which mandates the Security Council to investigate situations that may lead to international tension or disputes.

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Furthermore, Dr. Kirton urged Guyana to seek immediate support from CARICOM by convening an emergency summit before December 3 – the date of the proposed referendum. He proposed invoking the Regional Security System (RSS) to address the pressing security concerns faced by Guyana, particularly due to rising tensions and troop movements from Venezuela.

“With Trinidad and Tobago taking the lead, CARICOM should consider enlarging and strengthening the Regional Security System, deploying a military observation mission to Guyana,” recommended Dr. Kirton. 

CARICOM has already expressed its support to Guyana. It expressed hope that Venezuela would refrain from resorting to force or military action in the territorial dispute.

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Highlighting Brazil’s diplomatic stance and expertise in UN peacekeeping missions, Dr. Kirton also suggested engaging Brazil for support. Drawing from Brazil’s respect for borders and international regulations, he emphasized the value of seeking Brazil’s involvement to bolster Guyana’s security.  

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