Suriname Indigenous Petition Against Park
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Suriname Indigenous Petition Against Park

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July 16, 2007

On Friday, The Organization of Indigenous People (OIS) submitted a petition to the Surinamese government and the French ambassador to Suriname, calling for an end to activities in the recently created two million hectare French Guiana Park

The French Army has recently begun ordering Indigenous People to stop all hunting and fishing in a disputed area along the southeastern border of Suriname. Reports have also been coming in that the French Army has been destroying property.

From – OIS-president Nardo Aloema was quoted as saying by Agence France Press (AFP) that “without our say, the French government created the park and although our landowning rights are not on paper yet, this is a violation of our human rights.”

According to the activist, the French authorities are trespassing on Surinamese territory. He further claimed that the French Gendarmerie also destroyed property of the indigenous people in the area, prompting the chiefs of six tribal communities to lodge a complaint with the Surinamese authorities. {…}

Suriname’s minister of Foreign Affairs Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk is seeking clarification of this matter from the French authorities before the government will respond officially.

Aloema warned that, if the French continue their activities on Surinamese soil, this could result in a serious border issue.

Indigenous and tribal communities in Suriname don’t have collective land rights and several groups have presented their case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. (source)

Suriname President Ronald Venetiaan has said authorities of both Suriname and France will address these concerns.

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