Srebrenica survivors to sue UN

Survivors of Bosnia's wartime massacre in Srebrenica are to sue the United Nations and the Netherlands for more than half a billion dollars for failing to protect the enclave.

    Remains of 6000 victims have been exhumed from 60 mass graves

    The massacre is the worst European atrocity since World War II.

    "In the next three or four months we are to file suit against the UN and the Netherlands before appropriate courts for breaching international laws and the European convention on human rights," Samir Guzin, one of the lawyers representing families of those killed in Srebrenica, said.

    "Survivors demand at least one billion convertible marks ($590 million) in compensation for their loss," said Guzin, whose team represents about 8000 family members and survivors.

    More than 7000 Muslim men and boys were summarily executed after Bosnian Serb troops overran the Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia, a UN-declared "safe haven" protected by lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers, in July 1995.
     
    The suit against the Netherlands is to be submitted to a court in The Hague, and the Bosnian team has already engaged Dutch lawyers to help them, Guzin said without elaborating.

    The entire Dutch government resigned in 2002 after the country's report claimed partial responsibility of the Dutch authorities for the massacre.

    US law firm Becker-Poliakoff is to work together with the Bosnian team on the suit against the UN to be filed with a US court, he added.

    Guzin and his colleagues filed a compensation claim to the UN a year ago, he said, adding that there had been no response from the body yet.

    The UN also admitted partial responsibility for the tragic events in Srebrenica.
     
    Following the peace agreement that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 war, some 6000 remains of Srebrenica victims had been exhumed from over 60 mass graves in the area. More than 1000 of them had been identified by DNA tests.   

    SOURCE: AFP


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