The Hague Appeals Court ruled Tuesday that the Netherlands was partly responsible for the deaths of 350 Bosnian Muslim males during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, upholding a lower-court ruling from 2014.
But Tuesday’s decision differed from the one three years ago in one important respect: The Hague Appeals Court ruled the Dutch state was liable for 30 percent of the losses suffered by the families of those men who were killed. It said the Dutch U.N. peacekeepers should have given the men a chance to remain inside their compound.
“Perhaps they would not have survived either in that case, because the Bosnian Serbs would have blocked access of relief supplies (water, food) or would have removed the men from the compound by force, but they would still have had a chance of survival in that case,” the ruling said. “The Court of Appeal estimates that chance to be 30%. The State is therefore liable for 30% of the losses suffered by the relatives.”
A final settlement figure has not yet been reached or determined.
Some 8,000 Muslim males—both men and boys—were killed by Bosnian Serb troops in Srebrenica in the worst massacre in Europe since World War II. But the court ruled Tuesday the Netherlands was not responsible for all those deaths—restricting its decision to the 350 Muslims males who had sought refuge at the Dutch-controlled U.N. base.