Dutch top court upholds liability in Srebrenica genocide
AMSTERDAM: The Netherlands’ Supreme Court on Friday upheld the country’s partial liability in the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia, the court’s website announced.
The court said the liability of the Dutch troops is limited to 10% of the damage suffered by around 350 victims of the genocide, of over 8,000 victims.
A Dutch appeals court had previously set the liability at 30%, but Friday’s Supreme Court ruling cut this percentage to 10%.
The Supreme Court said in its ruling that even if the victims had been given shelter at the peacekeepers’ base, their survival would not have been “certain,” and the Dutch troops could not have prevented the Serbians from abducting Bosnian civilians.
Under the ruling, the Dutch state will pay 10% of the demanded compensation to the victims’ families.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.
Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state.
The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a “safe area” in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic — later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide — overran the UN zone.
The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 Srebrenica residents fled into the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.
In 2002, a report on Dutch peacekeepers’ culpability in the genocide led the entire government to resign. (AA)