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Brazil to help Suriname army with more armoured vehicles

Urutu vehic1

PARAMARIBO--The return of two "Urutu" armoured vehicles that underwent service in Brazil is just the first phase of an ongoing defence-cooperation project with Suriname, Brazilian Ambassador Marcelo Baumbach has announced.

The ambassador said Brazil would help Suriname's army to modernise its fleet. "This is an ongoing process in our intensified defence cooperation," said the ambassador.

Suriname sent four of its Brazilian-made Urutu and Cascavel armoured vehicles to Brazil – its southern neighbour – for repairs earlier this year; the two remaining vehicles will return soon as well.

The vehicles had been purchased in the '80s and were due for repair. "They're as good as new," said Defence Minister Lamure Latour at the handing-over ceremony in the Memre Buku army base in Paramaribo last week Friday. He said the vehicles would be used to fight cross-border crime. The Defence Minister said the army needs more tactical vehicles, which have already been identified in Brazil.

Ambassador Baumbach said the cooperation between Suriname's and Brazil's armies has a past, but a future as well. "The partnership between our countries is based on our geographic [proximity-Ed.]..., but also because our defence organisations should be able to tackle modern day issues like human trafficking in cooperation," said the ambassador. Army Commander Colonel Hedwig Gilaard agreed. "The cooperation between our two armies is evident in many ways," said Gilaard.