A group of army veterans who were suing the Dutch state for compensation for the trauma they suffered after being sent on ‘an impossible mission’ in Srebrenica have dropped their claim, the Telegraaf said on Friday.
Some 230 men in 2017 launched their campaign for a ‘symbolic’ €22,000 each – or €1,000 for every year since the Srebrenica massacre took place.
The soldiers were serving in the Dutch battalion Dutchbat III protecting the Muslim enclave in 1995 when it was over-run by Bosnian Serbs. They rounded up and massacred some 8,000 men and boys while under the control of Dutch soldiers.
Their lawyer Michael Ruperti has now told the Telegraaf that they now had sufficient trust that the defence ministry would give them sufficient support to drop the claim.
‘This has never been about money. This was a lever to make the defence ministry realise that something needs to be done to do justice to this group,’ he said.
The veterans claimed 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, they says, has caused them social, emotional and financial damage.
The defence ministry currently only compensates soldiers who can prove that they are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
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