Disappointment on day 1 of Srebrenica case

12th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 May 2005AMSTERDAM — The wife and two children of a Muslim man killed in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in the mid 1990s have reacted with disappointment at the outcome of the first day of a civil case against the Dutch State.

12 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — The wife and two children of a Muslim man killed in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in the mid 1990s have reacted with disappointment at the outcome of the first day of a civil case against the Dutch State.

The case stems from what has been described as the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

A Dutch UN force — known as Dutchbat — had been assigned to protect thousands of Muslims sheltering in the UN-designated safe area of Srebrenica during the Bosnia-Serb war in the 1990s.

However, the Dutch surrendered the Srebrenica enclave to Serb troops, led by wanted war-crimes suspect Serb General Ratko Mladic, on July 1995.

The Serbs subsequently took away and killed between 8,000 to 10,000 Muslim men and boys.

Their relatives argue that the Dutch troops failed in their duty to protect the victims and are suing the Dutch state. They hope the case will help clarify precisely what happened.

The first witness in the case was Be Oosterveen, 59, who was Dutchbat's personnel officer at the time. He told the court that Rizo Mustafic, a Muslim civilian working with the Dutch, most likely was killed by the Serbs are a misunderstanding.

Oosterveen said he told Mustafic that he and his family had to leave the industrial terrain that the Dutch were using as a headquarters. Thousands of terrified Muslims had gathered there after the fall of the enclave.

Oosterveen said he had not been aware that Mustafic's name was on a list of local people who were to leave with Dutchbat. Mustafic has not been seen since.

His wife and children survived at were granted asylum in the Netherlands.

Their lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld said the family was disappointed by the testimony as she said they had expected more detail.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Srebrenica massacre

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