Dutch Report Blasts U.N. Actions In Srebrenica
January 27, 2003
Dutch peacekeepers in Srebrenica, Bosnia, failed to prevent the massacre by Serbian forces of about 8,000 Muslim civilians in 1995 because of shortcomings within the United Nations, according to a report released today by a Dutch parliamentary committee (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Jan. 27). Last April, the entire Dutch cabinet resigned following the release of a report saying the Netherlands shared blame with the United Nations for the events in Srebrenica (UN Wire, April 16, 2002).
Dutch peacekeepers placed too much trust in the U.N. secretary general's promise that air support would be provided if needed, the committee said, adding that the French commander of the U.N. forces, General Bernard Janvier, initially ignored urgent calls by Dutch troops to send the air support, which previous investigations have said might have stopped the Serbs.
The committee said there is no indication that Dutch soldiers behaved in a criminal fashion, but criticized the Dutch commander of ground troops, General Hans Couzy, for not informing the defense minister in time about reports of alleged Serbian war crimes in Srebrenica.
The committee called on the Dutch government to pursue the arrests of "those responsible for the mass murder in Srebrenica, General (Ratko) Mladic and (Radovan) Karadzic," to bring them to trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (DPA). Karadzic is believed to be hiding in Serb-controlled areas of Bosnia, while Mladic is believed to be hiding in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia.
Originally published at http://www.unwire.org/unwire/20030127/31682_story.asp