The Netherlands refused crucial UN air support to their own troops defending the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, lawyers told news agency Reuters. The lawyers, representing the families of the 8,000 men and boys killed by the Bosnian Serb army, are suing the Netherlands and UN, whom they blame in part for allowing the massacre to happen.
Srebrenica was declared a safe area under the guard of lightly-armed Dutch troops during the 1992-95 Bosnian war but came under attack from Bosnian Serb forces.
The lawyers say Dutch military officials blocked the offer of UN air support because they feared their own soldiers could be killed.
‘It is a wrong idea that Dutch soldiers were let down by the United Nations,’ Marco Gerritsen told Reuters. ‘It was a decision by high-ranking Dutch officers together with the Dutch state to see that requests for air support were denied.’
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