(AFP) – Sep 10, 2008
THE HAGUE (AFP) — A Dutch court Wednesday dismissed a bid by Bosnian Muslim survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre to hold the Netherlands liable for its troops' failure to protect the so-called safe haven.
"The claim is denied," presiding judge Hans Hofhuis said in the district court in The Hague.
Two groups of plaintiffs had claimed that the UN Dutch troops protecting the enclave had handed Muslim refugees over to Bosnian Serb forces, who killed some 8,000 of them.
But the court found that the soldiers had acted under the flag of the UN and the Dutch state could therefore not be held accountable, saying the "actions must be attributed exclusively to the United Nations."
The judgment, at the conclusion of a six-year court case, said: "This means that the State cannot be held responsible for any breach of contract or wrongful act committed by Dutchbat.
"Neither is the State liable for wrongful action taken by those in charge of the armed forces or members of the National Government."
Hasan Nuhanovic, who lost his parents and younger brother in the massacre, said the ruling as "without justice".
"I have been betrayed so many times before ... the first time was 13 years ago by the members of Dutchbat," he said, adding he would appeal.
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