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Information source: De Ware Tijd Online
Paramount Chief to the Saramacca nation in Suriname, Belfon Aboikoni, has called for peace on the gold mine fields of Kraboedoin . In recent years, Kraboedoin, located in the eastern district of Brokopondo, has seen many disputes over use of land. These disputes are between artisanal gold miners who have no legal rights over the land.
The government of Suriname is working towards legalizing the use of land in Kraboedoin. It does so in cooperation with Rosebell Goldmining (RGM), a Suriname based company with 95 percent shares belonging to Canadian multinational IamGold and 5 percent shares belonging to the Suriname government. RGM was founded in 1994 and is currently the solitary proprietor of mining concessions in Kraboedoin.
The disputes over land came to a climax in the beginning of 2010, with an increase of violent clashes and threats between competitors. The Suriname government responded by conducting a Clean Sweep operation in the area, expelling all Brazilians (on the basis of their illegal citizenship) and some Surinamese.
Kraboedoin is especially popular with Saramaccan miners who live in one of eight villages in the Brownsweg area. They claim rights Kraboedoin based on the history of the Saramacca nation, which resides in this part of Suriname. The same claim, however, is being made by some members of the Matawai nation, a group that has also occupied the region for a long time.
Kraboedoin is currently the work place of some 300 illegal miners. On monthly average, they recover around 5 kilograms of gold from the grounds, which amounts to a street worth of about 160.000 US dollar.
Authorities in Suriname strive to create order in Kraboedoin because they do not want a repetition of the events that took place in Albina, another gold mining town in Eastern Suriname. Here, on the night of December 24 to 25, 2009, Suriname gold miners took the competition over land to a level of brutal violence as they launched a mass assault on Brazilians in this town.