Colombia is planning to send 12,000 troops to the border with Venezuela before the end of this year, newscast CM& reported only days after Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez ordered 15,000 men to be moved to the same border.
According to the newscast, the troops make part of six batallions of the 8th army division and will be responsible for covering the full border with the neighboring country.
The increase in army presence follows Venezuela’s announcement to send 15,000 soldiers to the same border. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered his troops and Venezuelan citizens to be prepared for war with Colombia.
The border between Venezuela and Colombia has caused numerous clashes between the two countries over the years as it is used by left wing guerrillas, right wing paramilitaries and drug gangs to seek refuge from Colombian authorities or to traffick drugs meant for export to the U.S. and Europe.
Colombia accuses Venezuela of allowing guerrillas to enter Venezuela freely, while Venezuela accuses Colombia of sending paramilitaries to its territory to destabilize the country.
According to CM&, the troops sent to the border are ordered not to carry out any offensive missions and only secure border security.