Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Godfrey Bess has stated that he is very concerned about the recent alleged incidents of sexual misconduct being leveled against ranks and officers of the disciplined organisation.
Speaking with BIG Smith News Watch on Tuesday morning, Bess said he has noted the recent incident in a remote location involving GDF ranks and a civilian.
Today’s comments from the Chief of Staff came following a statement issued by the army early this morning where it stated that the GDF is investigating a sexual assault allegation.
While the release did not provide the rank structure of the person making the complaint or the rank of the person being accused, the Chief of Staff said the new allegations are coming from a middle-level officer against a senior officer. Senior officers within the GDF start from the rank of major.
Chief of Staff Bess said that when these allegations come to the attention of the force administration, the necessary and lawful steps are taken in addition to the GDF providing counseling where necessary and applicable.
Full Statement from the GDF
“During a recent investigation of misconduct and breaches of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by some Officers at Base Camp Ayanganna, the Guyana 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 GDF stated in its release Tuesday morning.
The Guyana Defence Force is committed to a full and thorough investigation of this matter, and to ensuring that all ranks found culpable for any other misconduct or breaches of SOPs are disciplined in full accordance with the Defence Act and Force Regulations.
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.