The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing of more than 8000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republica Srpska, under the command of General Ratko Mladić who’s currently on trial in The Hague.
In April 1993, the United Nations declared the enclave of Srebrenica a “safe area” under UN protection. The protection was provided by a 400-strong contingent of Dutch peacekeepers, Dutchbat. Dutchbat failed to prevent the town’s capture and the subsequent massacre.
In 1999, UN secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted his report on the Fall of Srebrenica. In it he acknowledged that the international community as a whole had to accept its share of responsibility for its response to the ethnic cleansing campaign that culminated in the massacre.
Court decides Otherwise
The relatives of a victim, a Bosniak working as an electrician on the compound of Dutchbat, decided to try their luck by suing the state of the Netherlands in order to claim compensation. This despite Kofi Annan’s report and an earlier 2008 verdict by the court that only the UN can be held liable as Dutchbat was under command of the UN in Bosnia.
40 thousand Bosniaks begged Dutchbat, armed with light weapons only, for protection against Mladic’ forces. Many urgent requests for air support were sent to NATO by Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans of Dutchbat on that morning of July 10th, 1995, but no assistance was forthcoming. To say it quite to the point, NATO told the 400-strong Dutchbat to go fuck themselves and fight the full force of Mladic’ forces. Dutchbat disagreed.
And now the court surprisingly decidsd that the state of the Netherlands can be held responsible and must pay compensation to the relatives of the victim. Despite the earlier court ruling, this court states that Dutchbat knew which risk was being taken.
The majority of Dutch people do not agree with the verdict. 54% said in a poll that the verdict is wrong. A third says the verdict is right, the rest of the people is not sure.
Less than 25% thinks the Netherlands should pay compensation. What do you think?