Home Ministry holds meeting on US security initiative

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday afternoon hosted a meeting with local and foreign senior security officials to discuss matters on the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

A release from the Government Information Agency said that the areas that Guyana will benefit from were discussed with a team led by US Ambassador Brent Hardt., and according to Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee the ministry is optimistic about moving forward with the programme of cooperation under the CBSI which is fully funded by the US Government.

Rohee said that based on visits that have been conducted by consultants, Guyana will benefit from many of the programmes to be financed.

Hardt noted, according to GINA, that the initiative is a regional partnership launched by President Barack Obama in 2006, and that from the start it has been a joint venture built upon a dialogue in order to identify areas where cooperation is needed.

“And what we developed was an initiative that would have seen us working more closely together to combat trafficking, promote citizen security, and strengthen the justice sector”,  Hardt added.

“We are in our third year and we are now seeing the impact of the CBSI,” he said. This is as a result of the many programmes implemented to fight crimes.

In February this year two agreements were signed with the US.  Through the CBSI I and 11, Guyana can expect continued financial aid from the United States to aid in tracking down, capturing and prosecuting drug traffickers and persons engaged in financial crimes. At the same time, security officers are to be trained.

The CBSI agreements between the two countries in February allowed not only for an additional US$860,000 or $172M in security sector assistance, but an agreement to share information through the Cooperative Sensor Information Integration system which will track airborne, maritime and land traffic as part of counter-narcotics efforts. This signing came as Hardt explained amendments were made to the initial agreement which was signed last year April.  “It will also allow us to expand efforts to strengthen counternarcotics control capabilities which aim to identify, dismantle and bring to justice drug trafficking organizations through close collaboration, training and intelligence sharing,” he explained.

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