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Aug 7, 2015

F.O.B. Will be Built to Fight Drug Activity in Sarstoon

David Jones

According to Brigadier General Jones, the forward operating base on the mainland near the mouth of the Sarstoon River will be constructed. He says that the B.D.F. and the Coastguard have advised its ministry and government that the base is required to combat illegal drug activities in the area.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commandant, B.D.F.

“It is going to be allowed and it is up to our foreign affairs and up to our ministry of national security as to what will be the start date for it to be constructed because it has been given the green light to be constructed.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, just as a military perspective, without the issue of exerting force at the border, talk to us about the need of this forward operating base and this issue of it being a coastguard base over a military facility, a B.D.F. facility. Why is it necessary to distinguish between the two of them?”

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones

“For Belize’s perspective, there isn’t really a necessity because we in Belize also consider the coastguard also as a military organization. Internationally, people might think otherwise. But they have been doing training with us so we have no objection in categorizing the coastguard as military as well. But that base is particularly important because there is a lot of narco-traffic activity that occurs in the Sarstoon. North of the central line that passes through the river belongs to Belize in our mind and south in their mind belongs to them. So if anything occurs north of the river, technically they have no right to interdict anything that happens there and it is the same thing for us…if anything happens south of the median line, we don’t have that jurisdiction. So it is only sensible that both of us have a base there and both of us work jointly together to interdict what comes through the Sarstoon.”

 

The plan, says Jones, is to have joint operations between the B.D.F. and the Belize National Coast Guard from the FOB near the Sarstoon.

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