Karremans ill-suited to command Srebrencia

4th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Karremans was not suited to command the Dutch United Nation peacekeeping troops in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, says former Army General Hans Couzy in newspaper AD, because he was getting divorced and had little energy left for anything else.

In July 1995 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans was in charge of the UN safe haven when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb troops under the command of General Ratko Mladic, who subsequently killed around 8,000 Muslim boys and men.

“I only heard of his divorce later. Had I known before, I would have never sent him”, General Couzy says. “A divorce takes all your energy and he then needed it for something else.”

About Ratko Mladic he says: “I don’t think he had planned to kill all those Muslim men. After taking prisoner thousands of them, he simply didn’t know what to do with them. ‘Better kill them then, so I’ll be rid of them’, he must have thought.”

The general still believes that the 600 Dutch soldiers were not to blame. “Things had to go wrong, with so few means in such an area. But the politicians decided otherwise. So we went.”

He was shocked to see the Dutch soldiers on their return. “Those tough, strong guys, completely broken. When I looked at them, I could still see death in their eyes.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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