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Mar 22, 2016

Protocol to be Developed for Entry and Access to Sarstoon

In the absence of an adjacency zone at the southern border with Guatemala, a protocol on how to deal with civilians and military personnel traversing the area of the Sarstoon River is being developed.  That set of guidelines will see input from military leaders on both sides of the geographic divide.  While there is a mutual commitment to peace, Brigadier General David Jones told News Five earlier today that there is an ongoing discussion with Guatemalan counterparts.  The idea is to devise a series of procedures that will govern entry and access to the area under dispute.

 

David Jones

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

“I have ready access to my counterpart in Guatemala.  I had a meeting with him in Texas, just prior to the incident that occurred and he assured me during the meeting that he is willing to work with me to ensure that there is peace in the area of the Sarstoon and along the western border with Belize and to do whatever possible to deescalate any such tension that is there.  And we’ve also both agreed that there is a need for a protocol to be established, so that the military is aware of what is expected to happen in there and to the point where civilians, either Guatemalan or Belizean civilians going to the Sarstoon, how they are supposed to be treated and what sort of protocol they should follow if they go into the area.  He’s committed to peace, I am committed to peace and since that incident I haven’t had the opportunity to speak to him but I expect to see him again within another week and a half or so because we will attend a Central American conference.  So all the Central American leaders, all the generals from different militaries will be there.  Participating nations will include Canada, the UK and Mexico as well.  So we’re going to discuss security issues and threats that affect the region.  So if there’s anything that occurs between now and then I can continue the discussion with him.  If nothing occurs between now and then, we can continue to work towards a protocol because I expect to have a meeting with him again in the next week and a half or so.”

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