Netherlands confirms there were plans to invade Suriname in 1986

(De Ware Tijd) THE HAGUE – “This is sensational news. The Dutch government has fully admitted that there were concrete plans to invade Suriname militarily. The relationship had already been burdened by colonialism and will cool once again due to this confirmation”. This is the reaction of Dutch Parliamentarian Harry van Bommel (Socialist Party, SP) to the admission by the Dutch government that it had plans to invade Suriname in 1986. In November of last year, Van Bommel tabled questions and wanted to know whether there were real plans to invade Suriname. His questions were based on an article in the Dutch paper Volkskrant in which Dutch ex-Ministers stated that Suriname’s former Prime Minister Pretaap Radhakisun had asked the Netherlands for military intervention in order to arrest former Army Commander Desi Bouterse. Ministers Uri Rosenthal (Foreign Affairs) and Hans Hillen (Defense) stated in reply to Van Bommel’s questions, also on behalf of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, “Based on conversations with ex-Ministers, among others, and on the article in De Volkskrant of November 20, 2010, it can be confirmed that in 1986, there were contacts with (prominent) Surinamese about the concerning situation in Suriname, and that during these contacts, the desirability of protecting citizens and a request for assistance were discussed”. Rosenthal and Hillen add that in 1986, the Netherlands consulted with the United States about the possibility of sending Dutch troops to Suriname in order to let those carry out an evacuation of Dutch nationals in Suriname.

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