Some 80 more Dutch army veterans have joined the fight for compensation from the state for sending them on ‘an impossible mission’ in Srebrenica during the Yugoslavian civil war, a lawyer for the veterans announced on Wednesday.
In total, 180 soldiers who served in the Dutch battalion Dutchbat III protecting the Muslim enclave in 1995 have now signed up for the case . The town was over-run by Bosnian Serbs who rounded up and massacred some 8,000 men and boys while under the control of Dutch soldiers.
The veterans claim the Dutch government could have known the mission was impossible to execute and say the outside world has blamed them for not being able to prevent the massacre. This has caused them social, emotional and financial damage for which they now seek compensation.
Michael Ruperti, who will be representing the veterans in court, said the claim will be discussed with representatives of the defence ministry and the public prosecutor at the beginning of December.
Defence minister Jeanine Hennis said during Veteran Day in June 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.