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GDF must map strategy for natural gas pipeline – President

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2022, 23:37 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Thursday asked the Guyana  Defence Force  (GDF) to devise a plan to secure the more than 120-mile long proposed natural gas pipeline from the Liza 1 field to Wales, West Bank Demerara.

“There will be a gas pipeline that’s coming into Guyana. You’ve looked around the world, you’ve seen how gas pipelines can become an instrument of threat to destabilise regions and countries so we have to have our own strategy in dealing with the protection of these assets,” he told the opening of the GDF’s annual officer’s conference. The President said Guyana could not wait for an incident to occur and then we’re hustling for a response.

“We have to have a strategic response to all of these things now,” Dr. Ali said. At  the same time, the President said it had no desire for conflict but would continue to prepare itself with the assistance of Brazil, French Guiana and Suriname.

The President also urged the GDF officers to create manuals on how to respond to  various scenarios rather than doing the same thing repeatedly.

He also urged the Defence Force officers to take into consideration various developments, including new roads, in their planning. “The force will be expected to play a more concerted role in Guyana’s development, one which is already outlined in our country’s national defence policy,” Dr Ali added.

According to the President, the GDF would this year get GY$17.6 billion to further strengthen its capacity through a combination of “technology and intelligence.”

He said a special housing programme has started and there would be greater educational and training opportunities locally and overseas.