WORLD

Dutch gov't 30 pct responsible for deaths of Muslims in Srebrenica, court says

DUTCH GOVT 30 PCT RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATHS OF MUSLIMS IN SREBRENICA, COURT SAYS
A Dutch appeals court has ruled that the government was partially liable in 1995 deaths of about 300 Muslim men killed in Srebrenica.

The victims' relatives have sued the Netherlands over the role of its peacekeepers from the UN contingent serving in the town in July 1995, when Bosnian Serbs forces rolled in and eventually executed some 8,000 boys and men, while driving women, children and the elderly out.

The district court in The Hague ruled three years ago that Dutch peacekeepers should have protected 300 Muslim men hiding on the UN base from the Serbs, instead of handing them over. The men were killed alongside the others captured in the enclave.

Srebrenica and the surrounding villages were inhabited by a majority Muslim population in the mostly Serb eastern Bosnia.

The enclave was under a military siege from the start of the Bosnian war in 1992 until the massacre, just a few months before the conflict ended through international mediation.

Both the relatives, who seek Dutch responsibility for all Srebrenica victims, and the Dutch government launched an appeal against the ruling.

The United Nations International Court of Justice, which settles disputes between countries, ruled in 2007 that the massacre in the Srebrenica enclave was genocide perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces against the Muslims.

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