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BBC | Guyana claims Venezuela assembling troops near border

HomeMediaBBC | Guyana claims Venezuela assembling troops near border
Guyana says Venezuela deployed troops on border area
Guyana says Venezuela deployed troops on border area

Guyana’s President David Granger says Venezuela has deployed troops along their border area.

Mr Granger described the move as a “dangerous escalation” in the long-running dispute between the two South American neighbours.

Venezuela says its troops are conducting exercises in the region.

It lays claim to the vast mineral-rich area of jungle west of the Essequibo river, which accounts for about 40% of Guyana’s territory.

Venezuela has been claiming the area as its own since the 19th Century, when Guyana was still a British colony.

Mr Granger said Venezuela seems to be pursuing “a very offensive and aggressive course”.

“We feel that Venezuela is treading a dangerous course at this point in time rather than seeking a peaceful resolution of the matter.”

‘Significant oil discovery’

In June, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro demanded Guyana to stop oil exploration in a disputed offshore territory.

The exploration was being carried out by US oil giant ExxonMobil.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez called the exploration “a dangerous political provocation”.

An international tribunal ruled in 1899 that the area formed part of Guyana, which at the time was a British colony.

Venezuela never accepted the ruling, arguing it was unfair.

On 20 May, ExxonMobil announced “a significant oil discovery” in the disputed area.

A week later, President Maduro issued a presidential decree claiming sovereignty of the disputed waters.

President Granger in turn released a statement on Sunday calling Venezuela’s decree a “flagrant violation of international law”.

Guyana has asked the United Nations to mediate the dispute.

Bron: BBC

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