Armed US troops to make wells in Peru’s restive region

June 2nd, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Prensa Latina
Lima, June 2 (Prensa Latina) The opposition in Peru has strongly criticised the government’s decision to allow US troops helping civil administration to carry arms, saying the order violates the law of the land. The Peruvian government has urged the US troops to construct water-wells and classrooms in the country’s restive Ayacucho region in the south where illegal armed groups operate.

However, its decision to allow the US soldiers to carry arms for self-defence has been criticised by the opposition politicians who say law of the country does not allow foreign soldiers to carry guns.

Defence Minister Antero Flores-Araoz said the government’s decision is justified, since the presence of armed groups will force the soldiers to carry guns.

Antero, while responding to the criticisms by Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) leader Ollanta Humala, said the foreign troops are here just to help the government and since the area is disturbed, the troops may be allowed to carry arms for self-defence.

Humala said such missions do not justify carrying guns. He said Peruvian engineers and constructors could do the work.

The ruling party and conservative groups in the Congress had approved the entry of US troops to Peru.

The opposition fear the US troops might open a military base in Peru.
Prensa Latina

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