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“The Court [of Appeal of The Hague] has handed down a historic decision” and has left “the state in disarray” by finding it responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian men during the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, leads Trouw. From 1992 to 1995 Dutch peacekeepers (Dutchbat) were responsible under a UN mandate for the security of the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was overrun on July 11, 1995 by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic. These troops then deported and massacred an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 Muslim men. The Dutch peacekeepers had refused to shelter the three men, who were familiar with the Dutch base. According to the court in The Hague, the Dutch “were aware” that “the fate of these three Muslims might turn out very badly.”

In its ruling, the court in The Hague stated that the sentence could not automatically be applied to other lawsuits pending against the Dutch state in the Srebrenica massacre, such as the proceedings brought by the 6000 “Mothers of Srebrenica”. According to the Amsterdam daily, the government, traumatised by the matter, has remained “remarkably silent” following the ruling. “Up until yesterday, the legacy of Srebrenica had focused on the former commander of the Bosnian-Serb army, Ratko Mladic, who is defending himself before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia”, also located in The Hague.