Expatica news

Dutch troops sent home after violent incident

18 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Four Dutch soldiers aged 21 to 30 have been sent home from the European Union’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia after being involved in a violent argument in their camp, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

The decision to send the troops home was made by the commandant and the Arnhem public prosecutor is to decide on Tuesday or Wednesday whether to press charges.

The military police suspects the four soldiers of being involved in a violent scuffle. They are accused of breaching article 140 of the Military Criminal Law book, which prohibits violence among soldiers.

The incident came to light last month and the commandant launched an investigation, at the end of which he decided to send the men back home. The Dutch military has since transferred the case to the public prosecutor, news agency ANP reported.

The prosecutor had not been remanded in custody pending a possible court case because they were not accused of using extreme violence.

It is not yet known whether the men — who had served about half of the six-month mission in Bosnia — will be allowed to work in a military function in the meantime. They have been ordered to report to their unit on Monday.

There are almost 500 Dutch soldiers serving with the EUFOR stabilisation force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some 7,000 troops are deployed across the country to maintain peace and stability, nine years after the Bosnian war ended. The EU took over the peacekeeping mission from Nato in December.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news