"Netherlands should face trial over Srebrenica"
28 November 2007, SARAJEVO - A Dutch court ruled Tuesday that the United Nations and the Netherlands should face trial for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Bosnian lawyer Semir Guzin confirmed in Sarajevo.
28 November 2007
SARAJEVO - A Dutch court ruled Tuesday that the United Nations and the Netherlands should face trial for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Bosnian lawyer Semir Guzin confirmed in Sarajevo.
Guzin told local Bosnian media that the county court based in The Hague had set a legal precedent, dismissing UN legal immunity in the case in which more than 6,000 survivors of the massacre sued the world organisation and the Dutch government for failing to protect them.
Up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were massacred after Bosnian Serb troops captured the town of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995, during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The former eastern Bosnian Muslim enclave was at that time a UN safe haven and was under the protection of Dutch UN troops.
Dutch soldiers stood by as Bosnian Serb troops were capturing the town, and the UN refused to use force to protect civilians in the Srebrenica safe zone.
"For the first time the UN will have to show up in a process in which many things about wrong moves taken in Srebrenica are to be explained," said Guzin, a member of the Bosnian legal team representing the Mothers of Srebrenica association.
The decision of the court to dismiss UN legal immunity, he said, would now help create a better position for a possible agreement between the Srebrenica survivors and the accused side-- the UN and the Netherlands.
"I am happy. Justice will finally find its place," Munira Subasic of the Srebrenica mothers' association said, adding that the genocide in Srebrenica happened under the UN flag.
The Mothers of Srebrenica, represented by Bosnian and international lawyers, three years ago sued the UN and the Dutch government demanding USD 1 billion in compensation for their failure to prevent the massacre and protect innocent civilians in Srebrenica.
In 2002 the entire Dutch government of former prime minister Wim Kok resigned in an act of morality and responsibility for the fall of Srebrenica.
[Copyright dpa 2007]
Subject: Dutch news