Suriname National Army

After the creation of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Army was entrusted with the defence of Suriname, while the defence of the Netherlands Antilles was the responsibility of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The army set up a separate Netherlands Armed Forces in Suriname (Dutch: Troepenmacht in Suriname, TRIS). Upon independence in 1975, this force was turned into the Surinamese Armed Forces (Surinaamse Krijgsmacht, SKM). On February 25, 1980, a group of 15 non-commissioned officers and one junior officer, under the leadership of sergeant major Dési Bouterse, staged a coup d'état and overthrew the Government. Subsequently, the SKM was rebranded as the National Army (Nationaal Leger, NL).

Suriname National Army
Dutch: Nationaal Leger
Service branchesSurinamese Land Forces
Suriname Air Force
Suriname Coast Guard
Commander-in-chief Chan Santhokhi
Minister of Defense Krishna Mathoera
Commander of the Armed Forces Colonel Werner Kioe A Sen
Military age18
Available for
military service
134,105, age 1849 (2021)
Fit for
military service
79,122, age 1849 (2021)
Reaching military
age annually
3,086 (2021)
Active personnel2,000
Percent of GDP0.7%
Foreign suppliers Brazil
Related articles
History1980 Surinamese coup d'état
Surinamese Interior War
RanksMilitary ranks of Suriname

The Netherlands has provided limited military assistance to the Surinamese armed forces since the election of a democratic government in 1991. In recent years, the United States has provided training to military officers and policymakers to promote a better understanding of the role of the military in a civilian government. Also, since the mid-1990s, the People's Republic of China has been donating military equipment and logistical material to the Surinamese Armed Forces, as has Brazil.

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