Surinamese Authorities Tighten Security After Failed Bomb Attack on Courthouse

ARAMARIBO, Suriname – Security has been tightened across Paramaribo in the aftermath of a failed bomb attack on Friday evening on a courthouse . 

bombsIn addition, security in other places such as utility companies has been increased, additional police officers and military personnel have been deployed and surveillance has been stepped up. 

This was indicated on Saturday during an emergency press conference led by acting president Ronnie Brunswijk. 

Shortly before the meeting with the media, the government held emergency consultations with key security services and authorities.

The police report that on Friday evening, two men who arrived on a moped threw RPG grenades attached to a hand grenade onto the steps of the courthouse. 

One of the attackers also fired shots at the building with an automatic firearm. There were two security guards in the building at the time. No one was injured. 

Defense Minister Krishnakoemarie Mathoera said that everything will be done to guarantee safety and peace. 

Her colleague with the Justice ministry, Kenneth Amoksi, placed the attack in the context of the worsening of the crime situation against which harsh measures were announced earlier this week. 

He noted that society will continue to be protected and that the authorities will succeed in their endeavor.

The government officials condemned the attack in the strongest terms as an assault on the rule of law, the constitution and democracy. 

“We condemn this,” said Brunswijk who indicated that the judicial authorities will investigate this case thoroughly and share all information in this regard with society.

 “We as a society will not tolerate this and nobody benefits from aggression. As government, we will continue to maintain peace, security and order at all times,” he said. 

 Amoksi called the attack a “cowardly act” and an assault against the rule of law of Suriname and against the judiciary. “This will not end with a fizzle,” he warned. He further speaks of an act of intimidation to destabilize the country, but emphasized that the authorities will not be intimidated. A special investigation team has been set up, which will be led by a public prosecutor.

“Every effort will be made to ensure that the perpetrators of this cowardly act are apprehended and brought to justice”, the justice minister said.

According to Mathoera, an attack has been committed on “our peace, security and the way we live together in Suriname.” She said that the Surinamese society does not benefit from it. “I strongly disapprove, it is against the way we live in Suriname,” said the defense minister. She added that more vehicles will be deployed for surveillance. Police presence will be increased at all strategic objects. The visibility of the police and military on the street will be increased. Additional instructions have been issued to police, defense and other security services charged with surveillance and security of objects. Furthermore, as many road checks as possible will be carried out to remove illegal weapons from circulation.

According to the minister, it is important that everyone in Suriname cooperates in this. “It is in the interest of society as a whole that this matter be brought to light and everyone’s support is needed.” Mathoera called on society to forward all information it has to the police. “That information can be very crucial and lead to a solution in this investigation,” said the minister.

The explosives found at the courthouse have now been disarmed under the supervision of experts. In addition to the criminal investigation, an administrative investigation is also being carried out within the Surinamese National Army, since military weapons were involved. “We will check all files,” said the Defense minister. 

The motive for the attack is not clear and no arrests have been made so far.