Court: Dutch Partly to Blame in Srebrenica Massacre
Netherlands accountable for 300 deaths in Bosnia slaughter
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 16, 2014 7:29 AM CDT
Marco Gerritsen, lawyer for a group of women from the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, answers questions from a journalist in the Hague, April 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(Newser) – 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.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Jul 16, 2014 11:59 AM CDT
@luke101:disqus, You 've pointed out the elephant in the room. A person who KILLS another person is the only one "ultimately" responsible. Unless of course you are a Muslim, then any crime or atrocity you commit is never your fault.
Jul 16, 2014 10:34 AM CDT
Why does the press never place blame on the real cause of almost all these wars? Islam. Their invasion of the area is what started it all.
Jul 16, 2014 10:06 AM CDT
The Serbs had the Dutch grossly outnumbered but where were the calls for reinforcements? The UN launched one air strike, then suspended them after Mladic threatened to kill his Dutch hostages, so they were aware of how critical the situation was. They chose to save the Dutch, who left behind their equipment and medical supplies, and left the Muslim men to die and the women and children to be raped and deported. The UN is ultimately to blame for the worst massacre in the Bosnian war.