World Bulletin/News Desk
The Dutch state is responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslim men ordered to leave a U.N. compound in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the Dutch Supreme Court said on Friday, in a ruling that may impact future peacekeeping missions.
Hasan Nuhanovic, who worked as a U.N. translator during the Balkan wars, filed the case against the Dutch state more than a decade ago, seeking justice for the murders of his mother, father and brother.
The case is the first time Dutch have formally been held accountable for the failings of soldiers in a foreign peacekeeping mission and could pave the way for a flood of compensation claims.
Dutch troops were in charge of a U.N. "safe area" when Bosnian Serb forces overran it in 1995 and killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica genocide, Europe's worst massacre since World War Two.
Dutch forces would not allow Nuhanovic relatives to stay on the base because only he was employed by the United Nations. The court ruled on the deaths of his younger brother, father and another man. His mother's case was dropped.
The failed operation was a painful episode in Dutch international affairs and led to the resignation of Labour Prime Minister Wim Kok's government in 2002.
Dozens of Dutch peacekeepers in a mission known as Dutchbat, and operating under a U.N. flag, were outgunned and outmaneuvered by the Bosnian-Serb troops.
The Dutch soldiers, many of whom feared for their own lives, helped the attacking Bosnian-Serb troops as they separated Muslim men from women. The men and boys were then bussed to execution sites.
"Dutchbat decided not to evacuate them along with the battalion and instead sent them away from the compound," a summary of the supreme court ruling said.
"Outside the compound they were murdered by the Bosnian-Serb army or related paramilitary groups."
Nuhanovic welcomed the Supreme Court's decision as he stood in the court in The Hague, where survivors of the massacre hugged and wept.
"In the future, countries might act differently in peacekeeping missions and I hope the lives of other people in the future will be saved because this mistake was admitted," Nuhanovic said.
The Supreme Court upheld an appeals court ruling from 2011, which ordered that the relatives of the victims be compensated but did not state the amount.
The verdict, which is final, could make other states reluctant to participate in foreign military operations if their troops can be held responsible when things go wrong.
"The Supreme Court has held that public international law allows conduct to be attributed not only to the United Nations, which was in charge of the peace mission, but also to the state because the latter had effective control over the disputed conduct of Dutchbat," it said.
Liesbeth Zegveld, the Dutch lawyer who represented the victims, told reporters the decision had important implications.
"The most important conclusion is that a U.N. flag doesn't give you immunity as a state or as an individual soldier," she said.
The clashes had broken out in Silwan neighborhood after Israeli troops raided the homes of the relatives of a Palestinian driver accused of running over and killing a baby and injuring eight people
A baby was killed and eight people were injured when a Palestinian driver ran over passengers in Jerusalem
It was the second flare-up this week and comes weeks after Britain and France agreed to improve border controls
A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa and the parliament building attacked in which gunshots were fired
Widodo had originally planned to announce his cabinet of 33 ministers on Tuesday, said his team would be made up of 18 technocrats and 15 political appointees.
A 13-year-old boy was detained after hurling stones at Israeli cars in the Al-Tur neighborhood, three other Palestinian boys, aged between 14 and 16, were detained for throwing rocks at Israeli police vehicles in the Beit Hanina district.
Iranian demonstrators gather in front of Isfahan Department of Justice building to protest acid attacks against women in the street.
The Ansar al-Sharia group wrote on Twitter that its fighters had killed 30 Houthi militants in attacks on their homes in Rada'a city on Tuesday.
Iraq's Kurdish parliament unanimously votes to deploy Peshmerga forces in Syrian town of Kobani besieged by ISIL militants.
The attack sparked clashes between the settlers and local residents, which ended upon the arrival of Israeli army troops.
Palestinian negotiators still studying Egypt's proposed agenda for the upcoming talks.
Ozdil Nami warns of increasing tensions after Greek Cypriot Administration, Israel and Russia conduct military drills between Crete and Cyprus
There were no immediate reports on the number of casualties from the fighting there, but the militant advance appears to have been halted.
Crowds gathered at the U.N. base calling for peacekeepers to leave the town after two people were shot dead on Tuesday during a protest
The accused leader of the group, a Qatari man, was sentenced to 30 years in jail, after which he would be expelled from Saudi Arabia, while the other 12 were jailed for between 18 months and 18 years
Zoabi said the Syrian air force was searching for the third jet but had destroyed two of them, the first time Damascus has acknowledged that ISIL are flying the aircraft.