Ecuador will implement this year a plan
to reinforce its borders, particularly with Colombia, to eliminate the
presence of guerrillas and irregular forces in its territory, announced
the country’s Defence minister Javier Ponce.
“The goal is to eliminate all activities of paramilitary groups, gangs
of delinquents and any FARC guerrillas in Ecuadorian territory”, said
Ponce during an interview with a local radio in the capital Qutio.
however admitted that the global crisis will have an impact on the
military budget, but much of the equipment for such an operation has
already been purchased, “so our troops will be adequately armed for the
mission they have been tasked”.
The Defence minister said India
manufactured helicopters are expected to arrive in the first quarter of
the year; there are ongoing negotiations for the purchase of Russian
helicopters, and the provision of sufficient munitions, night vision
goggles and bullet proof jackets has been assured.
involved in a crash program to reequip its Armed Forces and intensify
border patrolling following the attack on a FARC guerrilla camp in the
border area by the Colombian Army in March 2008. The incident created a
war atmosphere which was defused by a meeting of all Latinamerican
leaders in Dominican Republic.
During the operation FARC top
leader Raul Reyes and other guerrillas were killed by the Colombian
forces. In spite of Colombian apologies for the military action Ecuador
broke diplomatic relations with Bogotá and relations remain strained.
administration of Colombian president Alvaro Uribe insists that some
Ecuadorian political sectors, sympathizers of the Colombian
Revolutionary Armed Forces, continue to provide them with sanctuaries,
supplies and logistic support. Colombian forces have been attacked by
rebels from Ecuadorian territory.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa vehemently denies the allegations but has decided to intensify border patrolling. (Mercopress)