World Bulletin / News Desk
A Dutch ruling that the Netherlands was only partially liable for the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in Srebrenica sparked outrage from friends and relatives of the victims in Bosnia.
A court in The Hague Tuesday ruled the Dutch state had acted unlawfully, ordering the country to pay partial damages to the families of 350 victims, around 30 percent of the damages and interest requested.
But friends and relatives of the victims wanted the court to declare the country responsible for the massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys, saying the Dutch UN contingent charged with protecting the region had failed.
Europe's worst atrocity since World War II, the killing in Srebrenica by former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic in 1995 is considered an act of genocide by international judges.
Judge Gepke Dulek Tuesday said the Dutch court stopped short of awarding full compensation because it was "uncertain" whether the men would have survived if they had remained inside the Dutch base.
Both the Dutch state and the relatives of victims had appealed a 2014 ruling that the state was liable for the deaths of some 350 men who left the base.
"This verdict is shameful. We will not accept it," said Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica.
Murat Tahirovic, who heads a campaign group of victims and witnesses of genocide said the court's ruling was an attempt to "exonerate the Netherlands to the maximum while minimising their responsibility as much as possible".
Still, the ruling serves as judicial "confirmation of the Netherlands' joint responsibility in the genocide of Srebrenica", Tahirovic added.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who refused to qualify the massacre in Srebrenica as a genocide, said a search for those responsible for the killings must continue:
"A huge crime was committed in Srebrenica. Everyone who contributed to it must answer to justice and we must not abandon the hunt as long as even one participant (in the crime) is still living."
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