News Europe The Netherlands apologizes to the victims of the Srebrenica massacre for not...

The Netherlands apologizes to the victims of the Srebrenica massacre for not being able to prevent the genocide

Cemetery in memory of the victims of the Srebrenica massacre, committed during the Balkan war. – DANILO BALDUCCI / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The Netherlands has sent its “deepest apologies” to the people of Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the “failure” of the Dutch military forces to prevent the massacre that took place in July 1985, in the midst of Balkan war, in which 8,000 Muslims were killed.

“The international community failed to offer adequate protection to the people of Srebrenica. The Dutch government shares responsibility for the situation in which that failure occurred. And for this, we offer our deepest apologies,” Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren said. .

In a ceremony held in the town of Potocari, Ollongren recognized that given the impossibility of “removing” the suffering from all the victims of what happened, what the international community can do “is look history straight in the eye “.

“The memory of this terrible genocide must not disappear from history (…) because its deep pain and loss are present forever, here and now”, the Dutch Minister of Defense has remarked 27 years after all that happened, informs the chain NOS.

Ollongren has recognized that there were political failures, but has clarified that the responsibility for those crimes lies with those who perpetrated those acts. “Fortunately, several of those responsible have already been tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague,” he stressed.

This gesture has not been without controversy, after it came after a previous apology a month ago to the Dutch battalion of the United Nations that was unable to defend the city. For Prime Minister Mark Rutte, that squad “wrongly ended up on the bench.”

The Srebrenica massacre is considered the biggest war crime in Europe since World War II. The Dutch unit Dutchbat III was there to protect Muslim refugees, as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

However, in July 1995, the 370 Dutch soldiers that made up this battalion failed to defend the city and prevent the massacre, in which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by the Bosnian Serb Army under the command of Ratko Mladic and thrown into mass graves.

Source: Europa Press

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