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

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.