Dutch state in clear on Srebrenica

Bosnian survivors of 1995 massacre fail to hold Dutch UN soldiers responsible for the deaths.

    A Bosnian Muslim holds photos of her children who died in the Srebrenica massacre [EPA]

    The judgment, at the conclusion of a six-year court case, said: "This means that the state cannot be held responsible for any breach of contract or wrongful act committed by Dutchbat [the Dutch battalion of the United Nations]."

    "Neither is the state liable for wrongful action taken by those in charge of the armed forces or members of the national government."

    Hasan Nuhanovic, who lost his parents and younger brother in the massacre, said the ruling was "without justice".

    "I have been betrayed so many times before ... the first time was 13 years ago by the members of Dutchbat," he said, adding that he would appeal against the ruling.

    Treaties 'violated'

    In the civil suit argued before the court in June, the applicants said Dutchbat troops there to protectthe enclave had handed Muslim refugees over to Bosnian Serb forces.

    This action had violated several national laws and international treaties, the plaintiffs said.

    The case was initiated by Nuhanovic and Mehida, Damir and Alma Mustafic, the widow and children of another victim, Rizo Mustafic.

    They claimed the Dutch state was liable as it exercised full command over the military.

    "Dutchbat was professionally charged with the safety of civilians," Liesbeth Zegveld, the plaintiffs' lawyer told the court in June.

    "They had a humanitarian assignment, but they acted contrary to their instructions."

    Srebrenica was a UN-protected Muslim enclave until July 11, 1995, when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces which loaded thousands of men and boys on to trucks, executed an estimated 8,000 and buried their bodies into mass graves.

    The Srebrenica massacre, Europe's worst atrocity since the second world war, has been termed genocide by the International Court of Justice, which handles disputes between nations, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.