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Flag of Suriname
Coat of Arms for Suriname
Map of Suriname.

Suriname (/ˈsjʊərɪnæm, -nɑːm/ (listen)) or Surinam, officially the Republic of Suriname (Dutch: Republiek Suriname [reːpyˌblik ˌsyːriˈnaːmə]), is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, and Brazil to the south. At just under 165,000 square kilometers (64,000 square miles), it is the smallest sovereign state in South America.

It has a population of approximately 612,985,0 dominated by descendants from the slaves and labourers brought in from Africa and Asia by the Dutch Empire and Republic. Most of the people live by the country's (north) coast, in and around its capital and largest city, Paramaribo. It is also one of the least densely populated countries on Earth.

Situated slightly north of the equator, Suriname is a tropical country dominated by rainforests. A developing country with a relatively high level of human development, Suriname's economy is heavily dependent on its abundant natural resources, namely bauxite, gold, petroleum and agricultural products.

Suriname was inhabited as early as the fourth millennium BC by, various indigenous peoples, including the Arawaks, Caribs, and Wayana. Europeans arrived in the 16th century, with the Dutch establishing control over much of the country's current territory by the late 17th century. During the Dutch colonial period, Suriname was a lucrative source of sugar, its plantation economy driven by African slave labour, and after abolition of slavery in 1863, by indentured servants from Asia, predominantly from then British India, as well as the Dutch East Indies.

In 1954, Suriname became one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On 25 November 1975, it left the Kingdom to become an independent state. Contrary to the preceding war for independence of Dutch colony Indonesia, this was an initiative of the Netherlands' then left-wing government. Suriname continues to maintain close diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties with the Netherlands.

Suriname is considered a culturally Caribbean country, and is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It is the only sovereign nation outside of Europe where Dutch is the official and prevailing language of government, business, media, and education. According to research by the Dutch Language Union, Dutch is the native language of 60% of Surinamese. Sranan Tongo, an English-based creole language, is a widely used lingua franca. (Full article...)

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Sign outside Anton de Kom University of Suriname
Anton de Kom University (Dutch: Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname) is the only university in Suriname. It is located in the capital, Paramaribo, and named for Anton de Kom, an anti-colonialist activist who was killed by the Nazis while in exile in the Netherlands. (Full article...)
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Official portrait, 2010

Desiré Delano "Dési" Bouterse (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdesɪ ˈbʌutəɾsə]; born 13 October 1945) is a Surinamese military officer, politician, convicted murderer and drug trafficker who served as President of Suriname from 2010 to 2020. From 1980 to 1987, he was Suriname's de facto leader after conducting a military coup and establishing a period of military rule. In 1987, Bouterse founded the National Democratic Party (NDP). On 25 May 2010, Bouterse's political alliance, the Megacombinatie ("Mega combination"), which included the NDP, won the parliamentary elections, and on 19 July 2010, Bouterse was elected as President of Suriname with 36 of 50 parliament votes. He was inaugurated on 12 August 2010.

Bouterse is a controversial figure, held responsible by some for numerous human rights violations committed during his military rule in the 1980s. Most notable were the December murders in 1982. He was prosecuted for the murders, and a trial was initiated, but the National Assembly extended amnesty to him in 2012. After the trial was forced to continue, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison on 29 November 2019. He is also suspected of having directed the Moiwana massacre in 1986 during the civil war by the Maroons, led by his former bodyguard, Ronnie Brunswijk. (Full article...)

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Map of Suriname


Largest cities or towns in Suriname
Rank Name District Pop.
1 Paramaribo Paramaribo 223 757 Nieuw Nickerie
Nieuw Nickerie
2 Lelydorp Wanica 18 223
3 Nieuw Nickerie Nickerie 13 143
4 Moengo Marowijne 7 074
5 Nieuw Amsterdam Commewijne 4 935
6 Mariënburg Commewijne 4 427
7 Wageningen Nickerie 4 145
8 Albina Marowijne 3 985
9 Groningen Saramacca 3 216
10 Brownsweg Brokopondo 2 696
  1. ^ "Biggest Cities Suriname". www.geonames.org.


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