This post is also available in: Bosnian
The Netherlands has been pronounced guilty of the killing of Srebrenica residents, whom its soldiers handed over to Serb forces from the Battalion’s Compound on July 13, 1995.
The District Court at The Hague acquitted the Netherlands of responsibility for the killing of Srebrenica residents, who were not inside the Dutch Battalion’s Compound stationed in Potocari.
Semir Guzina, one of the attorneys representing the mothers of Srebrenica, said that the Netherlands was guilty of omissions made by its soldiers, who handed over a large number of Srebrenica residents to Serb forces on July 13, although they knew “what was going on”.
The executions of Srebrenica residents began after the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, had entered Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. Women, children and the elderly men found shelter in Potocari, seeking protection in the Dutch Battalion’s Compound.
Able-bodied men tried to break through to Tuzla by walking through the woods. Srebrenica was declared a protected zone in 1993, so the Dutch Battalion had an obligation to protect the local population.
Several thousands of Srebrenica residents began a breakthrough towards Tuzla by walking through the woods. They were shot at from tanks, and anti-aircraft cannons. Hand grenades were thrown at them. All of this caused the killing and wounding of some of them. Serb forces captured more than 6,000 Srebrenica residents, whom they then executed at various locations.
Guzina said that, The Hague District Court explained that “the actions by their soldiers did not lead to the death and killing of Srebrenica residents, who were around the Compound and in the woods.”
He announced that he would appeal this verdict.
Munira Subasic is one of the Srebrenica mothers, who were in Potocari in July 1995. Her son, whose remains she buried last year, was in the Battalion’s Compound in Potocari.
“He was sick. He was there, in those hangars. They forced him to go out, they expelled him. (…) But, they should have taken care of the wounded and sick. They did not do it,” Subasic said.
Following the pronouncement of the verdict, Subasic said that she was satisfied with it, because it determined the responsibility of the Netherlands, but she was dissatisfied with the fact that the Netherlands was not pronounced guilty of the death of all Srebrenica residents.
“We, the mothers from Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, have succeeded and done what Bosnia and Herzegovina should have done,” she said.