The Netherlands is partially responsible for Europe's worst massacre since World War II, according to a Dutch court. Amid ethnic cleansing in 1995, thousands of Bosnian Muslims sought refuge at a UN base under Dutch guard near Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But the Dutch passed men and boys from the refugees to Bosnian Serbs. Ultimately, almost 8,000 were killed in the Srebrenica massacre, Reuters notes. The Dutch must compensate the families of 300 of those victims for failing to protect them from the genocide, the court ruled, per the BBC.
"At the moment that the men were sent away, Dutchbat (peacekeeping troops) knew or should have known that the genocide was taking place and therefore there was a serious risk that those men would be killed," the court said. "Had Dutchbat allowed them to stay at the compound, these men would have remained alive." The court, however, didn't see the Netherlands as responsible for most of the deaths; it pointed out that many victims "fled to the woods in the vicinity of Srebrenica" rather than to the UN site itself. That didn't sit well with a rep for victims: "How is it possible to divide victims and tell one mother that the Dutch state is responsible for the death of her son on one side of the wire and not for the son on the other side?'' she asks. (Read more Netherlands stories.)