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Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975. Since then, the country’s political and social structures have been weakened by social and economic difficulties. The upheaval of military rule and civil war in the 1980s heightened tensions further. It also led to unprecedented imports of single-shot rifles, shotguns, AK rifles and landmines for both the army and rebels.1 Moreover, the country is used as a transit point for arms trafficking by international criminal networks.2

Given the vulnerability of Suriname’s military stockpiles, the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) provides stockpile security assistance, including training, technical and financial support.3 The country’s guiding gun control legislation includes the Firearms Act of 1930 – last amended in 2001. Suriname has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty.4


1 Aaron Karp, Surplus Arms in South America: A Survey (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2009),

2 “Global Organized Crime Index: Suriname,” Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, 2021,

3 “UNLIREC and Government of Suriname Begin Cooperation on Firearms Stockpile Management and Destruction Assistance Package,” UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, February 18, 2013,

4 Philip Alpers, Amélie Rossetti and Leonardo Goi, Suriname – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

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Map of Suriname

Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Suriname.

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

A series of thefts have taken place in Suriname and resulted in massive arms and ammunition looting from country’s military stockpiles.

Source: Alpers, Rossetti and Goi, Suriname.


In collaboration with UNLIREC, 0.187 tonnes of ammunition were destroyed in Suriname in 2013.

Source: “UNLIREC Destroys Firearms and Small Arms Ammunition in Suriname,” Mapping ATT-Relevant Cooperation and Assistance Activities Database, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2016,


No reported needs have been identified for Suriname.

Source: Suriname, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), (New York: Permanent Mission of Suriname to the UN, 2020),

Published Date: Monday 21 of August 2023