Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Years of turmoil in Suriname came to a close in 1992 when a newly
elected government reached a peace agreement with the two largest
guerrilla groups, the Surinamese Liberation Army and the Tucayana
Amazonas to bring an end to a rebellion of the Maroons in the
interior. Many of the rebels were descendants of African slaves who
escaped in the 18th century from plantations in the former Dutch

Only one of the several rebel groups from years back now seems to be
happy with has happened since. The others want action.

So the four other former rebel groups are threatening with action if
the peace agreement of 1992 is not fairly implemented.

They are threatening to paralyse the economy if their demands are not

"We are fed up with the (way things are going)," says Frederick
Finisie, former parliamentarian and spokesman of the group Angula.

The following is from Caribbean Net News.

Former armed groups urge Suriname government to implement 1992 peace

PARAMARIBO: Hinting at possible unrest, several former armed groups
are urging the Suriname government to fully implement the 1992 Peace
Agreement, which ended an eight year rebellion against the government.

Claiming that the government is only looking after the interest of
one particular former rebel group the other former insurgent groups
formed a union to advance their agenda. According to spokesman
Frederik Finisie a former member of parliament the former rebel
organizations Angula, Toekajana Amazone, Mandela and Kofimaka
represent over 700 former combatants.

By joining forces the union is aiming at a speedy implementation of
the peace accord. The former rebels insist that 16 years after the
signing of the agreement not much of the agreement have been
implemented by the government.

They also claim that the government is only paying attention to
issues that are being presented by members of the former Jungle
Commando, of which former rebel leader Ronnie Brunswijk is currently
one of the coalition leaders.

The former combatants claim that the government promised jobs,
medical care and social security but never kept its end of the deal.

"But we are not specifically after government jobs," Finisie said.

The groups are pressing for forestry concessions and other facilities
to become independent breadwinners for their families.

"As soon as you apply for a concession or a piece of land your
application is being turned down if you're not a supporter of this
government," he further noted.

President Ronald Venetiaan, however, countered, saying that most of
the agreed aspects in the peace accord have been implemented. The
Head of State further warned that the government will not always sit
idly by while individuals barricade roads whenever they please.

Several weeks earlier the former Jungle Commando barricaded the
highway to Albina near the French Guiana border.

Oriana Trameh, representative of the Toekajana Amazone, stated that
the groups are tired of waiting and are prepared to paralyze the
country's economy if their demands are not met.

Although the groups uttered strong words against the government
during a press conference to announce their cooperation, they are
still open to dialogue. According to the former rebels, numerous
letters to the government have so far gone unanswered.

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