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Suriname's slavery descendants condemn Dutch government

Clave, Monument for Slavery, by Alex da Silva, is seen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday,...   -  
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Peter Dejong/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved


The largest opposition party in Suriname, NDP, has condemned the Dutch government for failing to adequately consult with the descendents of enslaved people.

On Monday, Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, apologised on behalf of the Dutch government for the country's role in slavery and the slave trade.

The descendants of slaves say the apology is not enough and demand reparation.

“(We expect, Ed.) on July 2023 (when they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the abolition, Ed.) a compensation payment of 400,000 euros for everyone who was affected by slavery", said Lorette Belfor, member of the Federation of Grassroots Afro Surinamers.

During the speech, the Dutch prime minister also announced the creation of a 200 million euro fund to help tackle the legacy of slavery and boost education about this issue.

Many however feel the issue is far from closed.

“The way it is presented, no (we don’t accept – the apology, Ed.). First we are going to evaluate and discuss it internally and then give advice to the Surinamese government if they must accept the apologies, where to accept and when”, said Armand Zunder, Suriname Reparations committee

Suriname is a small South American nation, a former Dutch colony, where plantation owners generated huge profits through the use of enslaved labour.