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  • Protesters Attack Suriname's Parliament

    Protesters Attack Suriname's Parliament

    Demonstrators protesting on Friday against the high cost of living in Suriname tried to storm Parliament and looted stores in the country's capital, Paramaribo, prompting President Chan Santokhi to call for the arrest of those responsible for the disturbances.

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    Between 1,000 and 2,000 people gathered in the morning in downtown Paramaribo to protest against rising food, gasoline and electricity prices and accused the Santokhi government of corruption.

    Police fired tear gas and blank bullets to disperse the demonstrators. reports state that several people reportedly became ill from the tear gas.

    The chaos was reportedly the result of an anti-government protest calling for the resignation of President Santokhi being confronted by security forces.

    Following the incident the Surinamese government condemned the protesters for storming parliament.

    The government has set up a task force to track down those responsible for the attack on parliament, President Chan Santokhi said in a statement.

    Suriname suffers from poor economic conditions and high inflation, but the protest also called for more democracy. Nepotism and cronyism are among the country's ills. Protesters accuse Santokhi himself of placing several relatives in important government positions.

    Suriname, a small country in the northeast of South America, is immersed in a serious economic crisis and ended last year with an inflation rate of 54.6%, according to its Central Bank. The former Dutch colony is impatiently awaiting the exploitation of its oil reserves, which should be significant.

    The government insists that it must cut spending as part of its economic restructuring program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has implemented tax reforms that include an end to subsidies for electricity, water, and gasoline, as well as a new trade tax.


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