Guyana and Brazil will be re-marking their shared border during a four-day exercise beginning on Thursday, the Ministry of the Presidency announced last evening.
The process was started in 1994 but was stalled for years due to funding issues on both sides.
“The team will look at the marks, repair and update them for posterity. The integrity of one’s country is paramount and to ensure that our integrity is assured, one of the things that we do is to identify the borders to make sure that it cannot be encroached or is not encroached by others. And since we have a really good relationship with Brazil, it is easier for us to keep that border clean, clear and visible to all concerned,” Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) Trevor Benn was quoted as saying at a preparatory meeting held yesterday at the Ferrari Hotel in Roraima, Brazil.
According to a Ministry statement, a team headed by Adrian Cheong, a Senior Land Surveyor, and also comprising Captain Joselyn McAllister, from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and three technical and field officers from GLSC, will be dispatched to facilitate the re-marking process.
It said due to the density of the forests in the border region, only four marks, BG15 to BG19, will be re-marked during the four-day exercise. The remainder will be done at a later stage.
According to the statement, the exercise is aimed at solidifying the friendship between the two countries and demonstrating mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The statement added that Consul General of Guyana to Brazil Shirley Melville said during the meeting that the process is a significant step in the fortification of the relationship between the two countries.
Her comments were supported by Dauberson Monteira da Silva, Head of the Commission on Border Demarcation for Brazil, who said that the relationship between the two countries has indeed been a “long one, characterised by goodwill, friendship and mutual respect.” He, too, noted that the exercise will further strengthen the strong bond that the two nations share.
Benn, in his remarks at the meeting, stated that the issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity are important to the Government and people of Guyana.
“Our borders are very important to us in Guyana and we appreciate the cooperation from the Brazilian government. Guyana is committed to the process and we are prepared to find the resources to ensure that this process is completed. We will continue to give support, financial and otherwise, to ensure that this process is completed. We have shared relations with Brazil for a long time and during our relationship we have been working to keep our borders clear so that we can identify the border marks,” he was quoted as saying.
Noting that Guyana has undertaken to fund some aspects of the process with Cabinet’s approval, Benn, according to the statement, said that it is imperative that every country is able to identify its boundaries and have these established.
At the completion of the re-marking process, a follow up meeting will be held between the two delegations to discuss the successes and challenges for future planning, the statement added.