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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The Buxton gunmen are still there

Dear Editor,

The entry of Ronald Waddell's body into Buxton has proven beyond fear of successful contradiction that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and Guyana Defence Force (GDF) have failed to address the security dilemma in Guyana since the 2002 escape of five dangerous prisoners.

As Guyana approaches the 2006 General and Regional Elections, the country cries out for a long-lasting solution rather than a band-aid solution and one of half-hearted appeasement by the police and army.

The crux of the matter is that the entry of Waddell's has proven that the previous joint and separate operations, including the current Operation Stilletto, have failed to unearth the high-powered weapons and ammunition. On entry of the body at Railway Embankment at Buxton, people were barred from going further and heavily armed and masked gunmen took charge of the body.

If the International Community- United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU), Canada and the United States (US) - cares so much about the social, political, economic and criminological stability of Guyana, they would do well to demand that the Government of Guyana (GoG), police and army take decisive action to root the gunmen, guns and ammunition out of the village.

Should the domestic authorities fail to do so, the International Community and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) should persuade the Government of Guyana to accept international and regional help to address the security dilemma. If either or both of these steps are not taken, the Government of Guyana, the International Community, Caricom and the OAS would have to take responsibility for the Haitianization of the country- another violent trouble-spot in the Western Hemisphere.

Available information also suggests that al-Qaeda and/or other radical Muslim groups are most likely present in Guyana and using Buxton village as a base in the furtherance of its global and domestic political objectives.

It is very clear that the police and army's information-gathering mechanisms are either poor or are deliberately made to be poor. Why, for instance, are no efforts being made to arrest the leaders of the Joint Initiative for Human Advancement and Dignity (JIHAD), which has been providing support to the gunmen in Buxton, including its foreign-born Islamic female leader.

Her citizenship should be immediately revoked and she should be expelled from the country forthwith and her husband should be jailed for stirring up racial strife in Guyana.

What are the Guyanese authorities and the regional and international communities waiting on, as Guyana inches to the brink of the precipice?

Yours faithfully,

Trevor Vannooten

Stabroek News