Venezuela calls U.S. comments on Guyana dispute ‘interventionist’

CARACAS ( ) – Venezuela’s foreign ministry on Tuesday described as “interventionist and disrespectful” U.S. comments on a weekend incident in which the country’s navy stopped two ships exploring for oil for Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) off Guyana’s coast.

Each of the neighboring South American countries says the incident on Saturday occurred within its territorial waters. In response to the event, the U.S. State Department said Venezuela had behaved “aggressively” and called on the country to “respect international law and the rights of its neighbors.”

“It is evident that the U.S. government is interfering in a matter that is not at all incumbent upon上海419论坛 it, with the goal of promoting corporate interests closely linked to the Washington ruling elite,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of plotting to invade Venezuela and overthrow his government, while Washington has placed sanctions on Venezuela’s debt and members of Maduro’s government over accusations of corruption, human rights violations and election-rigging.

A century-long territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana has flared up in recent years with Exxon’s discovery of more than 5 billion barrels of oil and gas off Guyana’s coast. In OPEC-member Venezuela, crude output is hovering near 70-year lows amid a severe economic crisis.

Guyana says Caracas gave up its claim to the Essequibo, a sparsely populated jungle area making up two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, after an 1899 ruling by an international tribunal, but Venezuela later backtracked on that decision. The U.N. this year referred the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

Two vessels owned by Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS.OL) and under contract by Exxon Mobil were conducting seismic survey work in the area. The ships sto,上海龙凤419Nadine,pped their work and turned east after the Venezuelan navy told them Guyana did not have jurisdiction there.

When asked on Monday if there were plans for the vessels to resume their activities, Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said the government was “in discussion” with Exxon. Neither Exxon nor PGS immediately responded to requests for comment on Tuesday, and the U.S. State Department declined to comment.

On Monday, the Caricom group of 15 Caribbean nations including Guyana – many of which have historically received subsidized oil from Venezuela under Caracas’ Petrocaribe program – said it viewed the “interc,爱上海419论坛Tallulah,eption” by Venezuela’s navy “with grave concern.,爱上海419Pablo,”

“Such acts violate the sovereign rights of Guyana under international law,” the group said in a statement.

Ethnic clashes kill 13 in Burkina Faso as security worsens

OUAGADOUGOU ( ) – Thirteen civilians have been killed in ethnic violence in central Burkina Faso, the government said on Wednesday, echoi,后楼凤419Hadleigh,ng a rise in inter-communal conflicts in neighboring Mali linked to Islamist violence.

Burkina has seen a spike in Islamist attacks in recent months as jihadists seek to increase their influence across the Sahel. On Dec. 31, the government declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali.

Attacks this week show how that violence may be fuelling ethnic clashes for the first time in Burkina.

After nightfall on Dec. 31, armed men on motorbikes descended on the village of Yirgou, made up largely of people of Mossi ethnicity, and killed six people, including the village chief, government spokesman Jean Paul Badoun said.

The following day, Badoun said, Yirgou residents killed seven Fulani herders in apparent retaliation. The residents blamed the herders for sheltering the men who attacked them the day before.

The ethnic viol上海419论坛ence echoes problems seen in neighboring Mali where Fulani have been accus,新上海419论坛网[随,爱上海419论坛Macauly,机符],ed of hiding Islamists who have carried out attacks across the region in recent years. Armed men killed 37 Fulani civilians there on Tuesday.

Ten gendarmes were shot dead near the Malian border last week in an attack claimed by Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked militants in the Sahara.

JNIM claimed responsibility for other attacks this year, including one in the capital Ouagadougou in March that killed about eight security agents and wounded dozens of others.

Thousands of people have fled their homes due to the attacks and reprisals by security forces.