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A ‘gran krutu’ was held on July 10 and 11 at the village of Abenaston, in Suriname, concerning the legal demarcation and mapping of Saramaccan living areas.
Captains of Brownsberg and surrounding villages requested the meeting, which was attended by representatives of both the Association of Saramaccan Dignitaries (VSG) and the government organisation Support for Sustainable Development of the Interior (SSDI) .
The Captains mainly wanted to know which entity holds authority for the demarcation an mapping – either the Surinamese government or the VSG – as both parties seem to have plans for the task, they say.
According to the government, responsibilities are shared between its own side arm, the SSDI, and the VSG, although official authorization rests with the government. The captains disagree, saying that both parties should have authority.
By 2007 verdict of the Inter American Court of Human Rights, the government of Suriname must recognize the collective land rights of the Saramaccan clans, draft legislation that complies with international treaties, establish a development fund of SRD 1,680,000 ($600,000), and begin demarcation. The process should have commenced as early as February 2008, but was halted various times and for different reasons, from constitutional complications to political disputes.
Source: de Ware Tijd online