Srebrenica bereaved protest at Dutch report

 

Bosnians bereaved in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre protested outside the Dutch parliament today at a report largely clearing Dutch troops for failing to stop Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

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We seek truth and justice about Srebrenica, and that what happened there in 1995 should not be forgotten.
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Mrs Hajra Catic

"All these cloths were sewn with tears," said Mrs Hajra Catic, who lost her husband and son. "We seek truth and justice about Srebrenica, and that what happened there in 1995 should not be forgotten," she said.

A couple of hundred lightly armed Dutch UN peacekeepers were assigned to protect the Muslims in Srebrenica, but it eventually fell to the Serbs without a shot being fired.

The official Dutch report published yesterday condemned the army and politicians for giving their peacekeepers a mission impossible in the Bosnian town. The women walked out of the presentation, seeing it as too weak and wrong on some facts.

The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) report condemned the Dutch troops for helping Bosnian Serbs organise the exodus of refugees from Srebrenica -- women and children to Muslim territory, but men to their deaths.

But it blamed officialdom for equipping the troops poorly, dispatching them with a weak mandate and, in the army's case, playing down how bad the situation was to save face.

The Bosnians and supporters formed a circle outside the parliament. Three of their cloths -- some decorated with hearts, flowers or teardrops -- bore the surname Hurenovic. Aida Hurenovic was born in 1980, Halid in 1977 and Fahrudin in 1954.