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The Guyana Police Force has been called in to investigate another case of alleged sexual assault by a member of the Guyana Defence Force, the GDF’s Public Affairs Officer, Heppilena Ferguson has disclosed.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ferguson said the case was unearthed during a recent investigation of misconduct and breaches of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by some Officers at Base Camp Ayanganna.
It was during that investigation that the Defence Force learnt of an allegation of possible sexual assault by one Officer against another. “Given the nature and seriousness of the allegation, the matter was reported to the Guyana Police Force which has undertaken an investigation,” the Force’s Public Affairs Officer said.
She said GDF is committed to a full and thorough investigation of the matter. She assured that all ranks found culpable of any misconduct or breaches of SOPs will be disciplined in full accordance with the Defence Act and Force Regulations.
In mid-February, five GDF ranks, who were stationed at Mabaruma, North West District, were accused of rape. In addition to withdrawing the ranks from the area, the GDF launched a Board of Inquiry into the incident.
Ferguson said given the repeated allegations of sexual assault within the Force, it will be seeking external help.
“The Guyana Defence Force recognises that the recent allegations of sexual assault against its ranks require immediate strategies beyond our current training regimen, that will specifically and directly address such deviant behaviour by some its ranks. In this regard, the Force intends to solicit the necessary expertise in crafting and implementing a strategy aimed at holistically addressing this issue,” Ferguson stated.