Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Dutch nation shamed by soldiers' failure to stop Serbian massacre of Bosnian Muslims
It is estimated that Serbian forces killed 8,000 Bosnian men who had been under the protection of a Dutch peacekeeping unit.
The court held the Dutch government responsible for only 300 of the deaths.
Dutch social media was full of people critical of the soldiers for handing the men over to Serbian Gen. Ratko Mladić, even though they were outnumbered.
US and French jets were in position to defend the Dutch unit if they had been attacked.
A court in the Netherlands on Wednesday found the Dutch government liable for some, but not all of the deaths.
"Today we got justice for one group, that's good," said Munira Subasic, one of the representatives of the Mothers of Srebrenica group who were in court. "But how do you explain to a mother that the Dutch are responsible for the death of one son that stood on one side of the fence, and not for the one on the other side?" she said tearfully.
Mladić has been on trial in the Hague since 2012, but the case has been delayed by his lawyers’ claims that he is in very poor health.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense had no immediate comment on the ruling in the Hague. There is likely to be pressure from Dutch citizens for the government to accept full blame, and not try to save money by taking advantage of the ruling.
It has taken since 1995 for the Mothers of Srebrenica to get this far. Court after court denies their claims.
The Serbian government was accused of numerous war crimes, not just the Srebenica case. Russia attempted to block the NATO intervention in Serbia, but was blocked by a French general.
NATO, acting without the direction of the United Nations, NATO “launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs” on the former to stop the ethnic cleansing that began after the death of former President Joseph Broz Tito.
Many Serbs have escaped any punishment for the ethnic cleansing, and continue to hate NATO for intervening to stop it from being even worse.