Poll indicates Dutch unclear on Bosnia

Ten years after almost 8000 Muslims were butchered under the noses of Dutch UN peacekeepers in the genocide of Srebrenica, 46% of the Dutch say the Netherlands should not feel responsible, according to a poll published in The Hague.

    Serbs massacred 8000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica

    The poll of 500 people was carried out by polling institute Interview-NSS at the request of Dutch public broadcaster IKON.

    Eighteen per cent of the respondents said they had no idea what happened in Srebrenica, even though the UN called it genocide.


    Only 10% of the respondents said they were well aware of what happened in Srebrenica, while almost one in five said they had no idea.

    A third of the under-28s and a quarter of the women interviewed said they had no idea what happened. 
    One-third of the respondents said they did not know who was responsible for the massacre.

    Srebrenica genocide


    After Bosnian Serb troops took the UN-protected enclave, they proceeded to kidnap and massacre almost 8000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in what the UN war crimes court classified as genocide.


    Ratko Mladic is on the run and is
    wanted for war crimes

    Sixty-one per cent of those polled believed the Dutch peacekeepers did what they could while 30% of men polled and 18% of women said the soldiers could have done more.


    Despite the fact that half of the respondents say they feel emotionally involved with the victims they seemed unwilling to take action for them.


    Sixty-nine per cent opposes the idea of a Dutch memorial for the Srebrenica victims and 50% said financial aid from the Dutch state for the victims was not necessary.

    The damning report that followed the Srebrenica massacre by The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, which blamed the Dutch forces to a large extent, eventually exposed the shortcomings of the mission.


    The report speaks of a complete breakdown in communications and lack of proper assessment of the situation.

    It added that the Dutch military may have been aware of the carnage that was taking place - since they assisted the Serbs in separating Muslim men and boys from the women and elderly - but it was ignored during negotiations with Ratko Mladic, a wanted man for genocide and war crimes.

    Dutch forces assisted Serbs in
    separating Muslim boys males

    The discussion apparently centred on the safe passage of Dutchbat and some of the refugees, without any specific mention of the separation and subsequent massacre of Muslim men and boys, the report said.

    Furthermore, the Dutch army top brass was accused of deliberately withholding sensitive information about the genocide in Srebrenica.

    Politicians in The Hague were also accused of trying to ignore the Srebrenica massacres for seven years, until the report was published, with little action being taken, even after it was made public.

    Some 50,000 people are expected in Srebrenica on Monday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the massacre.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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