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Suriname Army Seizes State TV, Reports Takeover

<i> From Reuters</i>

Soldiers in Suriname moved into the state television station Monday night, hours after 14 military officers signed a declaration of no confidence in the civilian government.

An employee of STS state television confirmed that soldiers had occupied the station, but a military spokesman said they had been sent to protect the station from sabotage.

In the Hague, the Dutch ANP news agency reported that Suriname’s military broadcast an announcement Monday that it had seized power hours after the army occupied the national television station.

The announcement was made by acting armed forces commander Ivan Graanoogst, according to ANP, which monitored the broadcast from Paramaribo.

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A crisis had developed in the former Dutch colony on the northern tip of South America when Col. Desi Bouterse, the armed forces chief of staff, resigned Saturday because President Ramsewak Shankar did not protest when he was taken into police custody in Amsterdam this month.

Bouterse, who ruled Suriname for eight years after a 1980 military coup, was held incommunicado by Dutch police, who refused to let him meet reporters for “security reasons.”


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