Twelve Dutch soldiers who were part of the peacekeeping team defending the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica are pressing ahead with legal action against the Dutch state for being sent on an impossible mission, news agency ANP said on Thursday.
The Telegraaf said earlier this week a law case was in the offing.
They claim the Dutch government of the day showed ‘serious shortcomings and lack of care’ in sending them on the ‘Dutchbat III’ mission in 1995, which resulted in the massacre of 8,000 men and boys, lawyers Michael Ruperti and Klaas Arjen Krikke told ANP.
Some of the 12 were young soldiers and others were officers, Ruperti said. ‘They were forced to watch the humanitarian disaster unfolding before their eyes,’ Ruperti told the news agency.
‘For 20 years Dutchbat III has been held responsible for their mission’s failure because the government failed to admit that they were deliberately sent on a mission that was impossible to carry out,’ he said. ‘The 12 have been hurt by irreparable damage socially, emotionally and financially.’
Defence minister Jeanine Hennis said during last weekend’s Veteran Day event that the Dutch soldiers sent to protect the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica were ‘not adequately prepared, had insufficient equipment and capacity and a weak supply of information,’ making it impossible to do their job.
The defence ministry points out that ‘a considerable amount’ has already been done for veterans who were wounded or are dealing with post traumatic stress.
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