Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dutch State Blamed for Deaths of Three Men at Srebenica

Reading through the headlines on Al Jazeera and noticed this: "Dutch Blamed for Srebenica Deaths." The Hague found the Dutch state guilty in the murders of, not the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were murdered there in 1995, but three men whom Dutch peacekeepers "handed over" to Bosnian Serb forces. The report does not include why the men were handed over, but because the Dutch peacekeepers (Dutchbat) had witnessed "multiple incidents in which Bosnian Serbes mistreated or killed male refugees outside the [Srebenica] compound" prior to allowing the three men to leave the safe are, the Dutchbat is now held liable for their deaths.

This ruling fascinates me for reasons beyond Dutch responsibility and the Bosnian war: I wonder if this will open claims from families in Rwanda to make claims against France, Belgium or the United States? Or rather, make claims that now have legal precedence. After all, the original finding of the Hague court was that "the UN was responsible for the [Srebenica safe area] mandate, and therefore the state was not responsible." Now that the Dutch state can be held accountable for the deaths of three, who be next in line to be tried for their failure to protect?

No comments:

Post a Comment